Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Creeping Phlox or Moss Pink: Phlox subulata

Weed Description: A prostrate perennial with attractive flowers.  Moss pink is commonly planted as an ornamental ground cover and only rarely escapes to become a weed in certain situations.
Leaves:  Arranged oppositely along the stem, linear in outline, usually hairy.

Stems:   Usually creeping prostrate along the ground, hairy, often reddish in color.

Flowers:  Consist of 5 notched petals, usually pink to rose in color but several ornamental varieties exist so it is not uncommon to see plants with white, red, pink, or purple flowers.
Identifying Characteristics: The prostrate growth habit, linear leaves and flowers with 5 petals are all characteristics that help in the identification of creeping phlox.  Due to the overall growth habit and leaf shape, this weed might be confused with Knawel or German Moss (Scleranthus annuus), but the leaves and stems of this weed aren't covered in hairs like those of creeping phlox. phlox2-6b.jpg (146602 bytes)