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30" x 20"


Meadow Phlox on a Riverbank, Morning Mist oil painting by Richard Tiberius

Click the thumbnails on the left to see a section of the painting in greater detail.



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Metro Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This wild Phlox looks much like the cultivated garden variety but it is not the same. We had cultivated Phlox in our garden at the time that I was painting this picture. Our Phlox had slightly larger blooms than the wild type but—much more important—by mid summer when both were in full bloom, my garden Phlox had already lost its lustrous green leaves. The leaves had turned grey and thin looking from infestation of powdery mildew. Apparently the wild type is more resistant to this blight.

From an artistic point of view I was grateful for the fine health of these plants. The dark foliage was an excellent foreground against which to contrast the brilliance of the flowers. The flowers are not rich in color. They vary from white to pale tints of pink, but on a cloudy-bright day as this was they light up because the pale color becomes translucent.

This plant has been variously called “Wild Sweet-William” and “Meadow Phlox”. The botanical name is Phlox maculata, the “maculata” means “spotted in Latin. The stems have purple spots but the spots are very small. I didn’t attempt to draw them in the painting. It is a native of eastern North America from Minnesota in the west to southern New England in the east, southward to Florida and Mississippi. This river used to be just north of Toronto in Ontario. Now it is in a culvert under a sub-division.

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