Sand Phlox
(
Phlox bifida)

The scientific name of sand phlox describes the blossom very well.  Bifida means twice cut and the petals are distinctly notched.

This is an excellent garden plant.  The short, pale green leaves form thick mats; the plant is attractive even when not in bloom.  It will grow in sun or shade and is one of the few plants that prefer dry shady conditions.  There is a flourishing patch at the edge of the shady beds in front of the Center.

(Photo credits: Missouri Department of Conservation and GrowNative)