|Common Name(s):||Prickly Phlox|
|Scientific Name:||Linanthus californicus|
|Size:||up to 1 meter|
|Blooms:||March to June|
|Fire Response:||Germinate from Seed|
Prickly Phlox or Linanthus californicus is a tap-rooted, widely-branched shrub with wooly long, soft, matted hairs that are densely
lined with clusters or bundles of prickly needle-like alternate leaves (it is a Phlox).
Native to California, this perennial is woody (one of the benefits of being a perennial is that you live more than a year and can invest energy into creating a more
durable structure). You can believe the common name description (Prickly) of this plant! The showy flowers are clustered on the
outer edges of the plant, and range in color from pink to lavender to white. Flowers are open during the day and twist closed at
the end of the day. The flower has five petals, white center, a narrow throat with some yellow stamens often visible. This is one
of the flowers that does not project its reproductive organs up into the air. Pollinators have to crawl inside the narrow tube.
Prickly Phlox can have dozens of the one inch round flowers in bloom from March to June. The bright pink patches of flowers will
catch your eye and if you are not careful the leaves will remind you not to touch this plant.
This plant can found in a
variety of places: scrub, forest, coastal strand. This plants normal range is below 1500 meters in mountains along the coast
from San Luis Obispo to Camp Pendleton and other mountain ranges in South Western California. I have seen this plant in several
places: Sandstone Peak, Saddle Peak and Boney Ridge.
For any Botanists reading this, the scientifc name was changed in recent years from TJM1 Leptodactylon californicum changed to
TJM2 name Linanthus californicus.
Name Origin: from the Greek, linon, flax and anthos, flower. californicus, references our lovely state.
Originally featured: October 2015
Last modified: March 31 2017 21:25:10.
Wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains, by Milt McAuley
Flowering Plants: The Santa Monica Mountains, Coastal and Chaparral Regions of Southern California, by Nancy Dale
Botanical Terms for Leaves