Collected in late May, 1923, this specimen was found by E.H. McClelland at Idlewild Park, near Ligonier, Pennsylvania. This herbarium sheet actually contains two different phlox species—Phlox stolonifera (creeping phlox) and Phlox divaricata (wild blue phlox). There are at least seven species of phlox native to Pennsylvania. Phlox is a popular choice among wildflower gardeners.
Phlox can be easily confused with Dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis), a non-native plant
in the mustard family that is common along many wooded streams and roadsides. An easy way to tell the difference is by the flowers—wild phlox has five petals while Dame’s rocket has four petals. Dame’s rocket is in the mustard family, whose flower petals characteristically form a cross (hence its former family name Cruciferae).
Botanists at Carnegie
Museum of Natural History share pieces of the herbarium’s historical hidden
collection on the dates they were discovered or collected. Check back for more!