Phlox nivalis, or Traliling Phlox, is a low growing, early flowering, sun-loving species of Phlox which presents as a mound-forming mat of stiff, needle-like, evergreen foliage. Although reported in all three NC zones (mountains, piedmont, coastal plain) its strongest presence appears to be in sandhill and dry habitats of the central counties of NC and South Carolina. Hence it is tolerant of dry conditions. It forms a 6-inch mat, with woody trailing stems — some call it a subshrub. In May and June it produces typical Phlox flowers (five flattened petal lobes fused at the base in a long tube) with blossoms from purple to pink to white, usually pink, with nectar guide markings at the base of the petal lobes. What differentiates Trailing Phlox from other groundcover Phloxes, for instance P. subulata, is its semi-woody nature (P. subulata is entirely herbaceous); it flowers several weeks ahead of P. subulata; and in details of its floral structure (see Flowers). Also, P. nivalis prefers acidic, sandy soil whereas P. subulata prefers rocky, more alkaline soil. Trailing Phlox is a tough and hardy groundcover that draws many pollinators, including hummers, and lifts the color display of the garden in early summer.