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(Phlox family)


Mabberley (1987) notes that this family comprises 275 species in 20 genera found in America and Eurasia. Most are herbs, but some form shrubs, lianes, and small trees. A few may be found in cultivation as ornamentals, the best known belonging to the genera Phlox L., Polemonium L., Linanthus Benth., Gilia Ruiz & Pav., and Collomia Nutt.

[Summary yet to be added]


50 species are found in temperate Eurasia, North America and Mexico; two species in Chile.

Polemonium reptans L.
Creeping Polemonium, False Jacob's Ladder, Greek Valerian, Sweatroot

A warm infusion of the root taken in wineglassful doses produces a copious perspiration (Wren 1975). Herbal practitioners refer to this as "diaphoretic" or "sudorific" activity. In some traditions, the outcome is described as "refrigerant" - a property considered useful in the treatment of fevers. Numerous other plants are recognised as having diaphoretic, sudorific, or refrigerant activity but these have generally been considered to fall outside the scope of this work.


  • Mabberley DJ (1987) The Plant-Book. A portable dictionary of the higher plants. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Wren RC (1975) Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations. (Re-edited and enlarged by Wren RW). Bradford, Devon: Health Science Press [WorldCat] [doi] [url] [url-2]

Richard J. Schmidt

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