1. Woodland phlox
Name: Phlox divaricata
USDA Hardiness Zones: 4–8
Size: 10 to 15 inches tall, spreading indefinitely
Conditions: Partial to full shade; moist, well-drained soil; can tolerate dry shade
This hardy native perennial forms an evergreen carpet under the canopy of tall shade trees and is perfect for combining with hostas and hardy ferns. Its beautiful flowers in shades of blue sit atop rich green foliage in spring, and unlike many spring ephemerals, woodland phlox stays around all year long. The plant spreads by self-sowing and is easy to grow from seed. The tiny seeds need light for germination, so do not cover them when planting directly in the garden or in nursery flats.
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