Leptodactylon californicum

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Leptodactylon californicum
Leptodactylon californicum
Leptodactylon californicum

Species Name: Leptodactylon californicum
Common Name: Prickly Phlox

Low-growing and modest-sized for small gardens. Covered in showy pink flowers in late spring. By the end of summer it is completely dormant, so careful placement is key. One of Theodore Payne's favorites. Local to Santa Monica and Verdugo Mountains.

Plant Family: Polemoniaceae
Plant Type: Perennial
Height by Width: 1-2' H x 1-3' W
Growth Habit: Upright, spreading
Deciduous/Evergreen: Summer dormant
Growth Rate: Moderate
Sun Exposure: Full to part sun
Soil Preference: Well-draining
Water Requirements: Drought-tolerant to occasional
Cold Hardy to: 25 degrees F
Flower Season: Spring
Flower Color: Pink
Endangered?: Not listed
Distribution: Southern Outer South Coast Range, North and Central Southwest
Natural Habitat: Scrubland, forests, coastal strand from sea level to 5,000'

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Care and Maintenance

  • Introduced into cultivation in California by Theodore Payne.
  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: Erect growing widely branched shrub 1 1/2 to 3 feet high. A most charming plant, seen growing on many of our dry hillsides. Stems covered with short prickly needle-like leaves. Flowers fragrant, in clusters resembling the phlox in shape, of a delicate shade of rose-pink and of texture like the finest silk with an exquisite sheen. Free blooming and one of the most beautiful of the native flowering shrubs. Gallon cans, 60c."
Other Names