Closely related to P. mesoleuca, but in the wild at least is usually smaller. Stem nodes always more closely spaced, creating a bushier plant. Leaves 2.5-4.5cm long, narrowly elliptic to lanceolate, downy. Flowers about 2.5cm in diameter, purple, lilac, pink or white, less commonly pale yellow, summer to autumn. Mainly New Mexico and adjacent Mexico with smaller areas in western Texas and eastern Arizona, in thin forest on rocky slopes at 1000-2500m. For P. nana ensifolia, see P. mesoleuca. Some of the colour forms of P. nana have been named, e.g. P.n. forma lilacina (lilac), P.n. var. alborosea, rose-pink with a white eye.
In Locklear 2012 P.mesoleuca and P.mexicana are considered in this species with no recognised subspecies but he considers that more study is needed.
Plant Portrait: Phlox nana var. ensifolia - plant of the month June 2011