After working near this phlox for the past week or so, I finally realized that it was one of the plants that Joan and Hannah and I collected in Pennsylvania in September 2006. We collected seeds, planted them, bumped the seedlings up until they reaches 1 qt. pots, and then we planted them out in various locations. I just forgot we, I mean I, had put some here.
Phlox paniculata, or common garden phlox is one of the heavy-lifters of the summer perennial border Dozens of cultivars are available, but I like the straight species because it is as close to immune to powdery mildew as it is possible to be. One of the techniques for finding "different" plants from a large seedling population is to concentrate on the weakest, least typical individuals. While this is a good way to find odd individuals, it is also a fairly good way to find weakness and susceptibility to diseases and pests or cold or drought..... Come look at this plant; it is in the cultivar area inside Fern Valley near the Echinacea selections. There is not a bit of powdery mildew on it and surely it is worthy of any perennial border.