plural phlox or phloxes
: any of a genus (Phlox of the family Polemoniaceae, the phlox family) of American annual or perennial herbs that have usually pink, purplish, white, or variegated flowers, a salverform corolla with the stamens on its tube, and a 3-valved capsular fruit

Illustration of phlox

Illustration of phlox

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Picks like the creeping phlox or creepy jenny are even sturdy enough to walk on. Alyssa Gautieri, Good Housekeeping, 23 Mar. 2023 Creeping phlox does best if planted after the last frost in your area, but is quick to provide late-spring blooms when grown in full sun. 6. Jeanne Ambrose, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Mar. 2023 This moon name comes from the pink wildflowers that bloom in early spring, like the wild ground phlox, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. Lydia Wang, Women's Health, 7 Feb. 2023 Other good plants include Jacob’s ladder, wild strawberry, wild geranium, chokecherry, prairie phlox, golden Alexander, New Jersey tea, cherry trees, dogwoods, blueberry, elderberry, willow and hackberry trees. Jennifer Rude Klett, Journal Sentinel, 20 Apr. 2023 Flowers to start from seed: Dahlia, schizanthus, nigella, phlox, portulaca, nemesia, marigold and nasturtiums. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Apr. 2023 Worm Moon This moon comes at beginning of the spring thaw, when earthworms reappear and robins soon after them. April 6, 2023 (12:34 AM) Pink Moon Named not for the color of this moon, but for the hue of wild ground phlox, one of the first plants to bloom come spring. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, 19 Apr. 2023 Specifically, head to Marble Falls, Burnet, Lampasas, San Saba, Mason, Llano, Fredericksburg, and Johnson City to spot the flowers alongside Indian paintbrush blooms, pink evening primroses, daisies, winecups, prairie verbena, and goldeneye phlox. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 5 Mar. 2022 When the New York City Parks Department plants bright-orange butterfly milkweed, soft-purple mountain phlox, or lush royal ferns, there’s a good chance that these and other native plants were started from wild seeds gathered by Patrick Over, one of the city’s two official seed collectors. Caroline Spivack, Curbed, 22 July 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'phlox.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, from Latin, a flower, from Greek, flame, wallflower

First Known Use

circa 1706, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of phlox was circa 1706

Dictionary Entries Near phlox

Cite this Entry

“Phlox.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


plural phlox or phloxes
: any of a genus of American herbs widely grown for their showy clusters of usually white, pink, or purplish flowers

More from Merriam-Webster on phlox

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