The Showy Phlox (Phlox speciosa Pursh) is found in Western North America from British Columbia to Northern Mexico. It is absent from Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming. In Washington State, it is found east of the Cascades in sagebrush, short bunchgrass, and open Ponderosa pine communities.
It is an erect perennial herb that grows up to 16 inches tall. The leaves are opposite on the stems and are linear to lance-shaped. The flower throats are 5/8 inch long, and the corolla has five petals each with double-notched lobes.
There are six recognized varieties of Showy Phlox, four of which are found in Washington.
It was named by the German-American botanist Frederick Traugott Pursh in 1813.
The name speciosa is is Latin for showy.
These photos were taken at the Vantage Overlook along Interstate 90.