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Reaches peak bloom earlier than others.

Phlox Early Bird

preading plants for four to six weeks. T

As its name suggests, Phlox ‘Early Bird’ was selected primarily for its early bloom season, which commences in mid-April and continues for four weeks until mid- May in northern Illinois (USDA Zone 5). Test plants were 100 percent covered with flowers at peak bloom in late April to early May. ‘Early Bird’ reached peak bloom sooner than any other commercial Phlox we have trialed, including the Early Spring™ Phlox series. But there’s more to this selection. The stunning flowers are both bold and beautiful, measuring nearly 1 inch wide, and colored a deep carmine- pink with prominent dark raspberry-red striae. It is comparable to both Phlox subulata ‘Crimson Beauty’ and ‘Scarlet Flame’, but with much larger flowers and earlier blooming. Plants are quite vigorous and uniform, growing to 36 inches wide by 3 inches tall after three years. The evergreen foliage has turned a bronze-red color over winter, adding another season of interest.

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Please note: Download hi-res photos from the photo gallery at the bottom of the page.

Who Am I?

  • Common Name

    Early Bird phlox
  • Botanical Name

    Phlox 'Early Bird' PP28737
  • Type

  • US Native?

  • Origin

    This Phlox selection was developed by Dr. Jim Ault at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The selections were developed from crossing Phlox bifida, Phlox borealis (putative, may be P. subulata), Phlox kelseyi, and Phlox subulata. All the parent plants and selections were grown in-ground at the Chicago Botanic Garden (USDA Zone 5b) during the breeding and selection process.

  • Bloom Time

  • Bloom Color

    Medium pink

Cultural Details

  • Bloom Time

  • Size

    3" tall by 36" wide
  • Hardiness Zone

  • Light

    Full sun
  • Soil

    Adaptable to average garden soils.
  • Moisture

    Moist to dry, but sharply drained, especially in winter. Drought tolerant once established.
  • Disease & Pests

    This selection exhibits excellent disease resistance. Phlox subulata selections may be bothered by powdery mildew in situations of excess moisture, relative humidity, and inadequate air circulation, but this has not yet been observed on any of our selections. These are not bothered by insects, and are rarely if ever browsed by rabbits or deer.
  • Landscape Use

    Borders, mass plantings, rock gardens, hanging over a wall, slopes
  • Propagation

    Softwood Cuttings
  • Propagation Notes

    Easy to root from shoot tip cuttings taken from in-ground plants any time the plant is in growth from spring to autumn. Cuttings can also be taken from potted stock plants any time of the year.

Available Photos

Hover over images to download hi-res files.