FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’ is a tall lovely summer phlox cultivar. The deep green foliage is topped by large rounded clusters of fragrant magenta pink flowers from summer into early autumn. Plants form robust clumps in sunny or lightly shaded sites with moist well drained soils.
HABITAT & HARDINESS: The parent species Phlox paniculata occurs from Maine to Georgia and west to Minnesota and Louisiana. This species is indigenous to woodland clearings and borders, moist to mesic woods, lightly shaded river banks, meadows, moist roadsides and thickets.
The cultivar ‘Robert Poore’ was found by Landscape Architect and Ecological Planner Robert Poore of Flora, Mississippi. Poore admired the plant for its mildew resistance. The selection was named and introduced by Southern Perennials and Herbs in Tylertown, Mississippi. ‘Robert Poore’ is notable for mildew resistance, tall statuesque form and large abundant magenta flower clusters.
Plants are hardy from USDA Zones 4-8.
PLANT DESCRIPTION: Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’ is an upright cultivar with smooth green stems.
Leaves are narrowly elliptical and edged by fine hairs. The blades are opposite and young terminal foliage is often purplish.
The stems terminate in showy 7” wide flower panicles. The florets are salverform with a long narrow corolla tube that expands into 5 spreading overlapping petal-like lobes. The fragrant florets are deep purplish pink with a darker eye.
Blooming begins in mid-summer and continues for about 6 weeks. Small inconspicuous oval capsules follow.
This cultivar is tall – growing to 4-5’ or more with a 3’ spread.
CULTURAL & MAINTENANCE NEEDS: Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’ flourishes in cool sunny sites with moist rich slightly alkaline soil. In acid pH, plants fare better if lime is applied every 2-3.
In southern climates or hot sites plant should ideally receive 6 hours or so of sun and shade during the hottest part of the day.
‘Robert Poore’ is very resistant to powdery mildew. The resistance is enhanced if plants are provided with good air circulation and overhead irrigation is avoided.
Plants may need irrigation during extended dry periods. Mulching is beneficial to conserve water and keep roots cool.
Deadheading spent flowers can prolong the season of bloom and prevent unwanted seedlings.
LANDSCAPE USES: This is a good Accent for a Wildlife Garden or Perennial Border. Plants are also used as Butterfly Nectar Plants or as part of a Grouping or Mass Planting. Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’ has Showy Blooms and is appropriate for Cottage Gardens, Low Maintenance Plantings and Perennial Borders.
COMPANION & UNDERSTUDY PLANTS: Try pairing Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’ with Echinacea purpurea, Eupatorium fistulosum, Coreopsis major, Liatris spicata, Monarda fistulosa, Rudbeckia fulgida var. fulgida or Panicum virgatum.
Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’ is a mildew resistant cultivar with lighter flowers and lower height that could be substituted in some situations.
TRIVIA: ‘Robert Poore’ was highly rated in the Chicago Botanical Garden Phlox Paniculata cultivar trials. The cultivar had “good” powdery mildew resistance and no spider mite infestations while being monitored over five years. ‘Robert Poore’ was also highly rated for mildew resistance in trials at North Carolina State University and University of Arkansas.
Phlox paniculata provides nectar to butterflies, skippers, hummingbird moths, sphinx moths and hummingbirds. Deer, rabbits and livestock browse on the foliage.