Busted for Phlox


Someone who grows phlox subulata is going to have to tell me–does it really smell like pot?

According to this article in the Telegraph, an English couple came home to find that local law enforcement had busted down the door and searched the house for drugs, so strong was the cannabis-like smell wafting from their phlox-happy garden. And the cops weren’t the only ones looking for drugs:

and Margaret, 79, who have lived in their semi-detached house in
Kingswood, Bristol, for 40 years said it wasn’t until this summer that
the four-inch tall ground herb began giving off a strong aroma.

couple noticed the police helicopter started frequently hovering above
their home – now thought to have been looking for the heat source of a
cannabis factory with infra red cameras.

On October 13 their
neighbours David and Christine Difford, 54 and 56, were subjected to a
terrifying robbery by a masked gang looking for drugs.

Said the grandfatherly gardener:

"We can’t believe that such a small plant has caused so much trouble."


  1. I’ve grown Phlox subulata and never noticed it smelling like anything. Plus, I worked one summer in a nursery where we worked with phlox quite a bit, taking cuttings, watering it, etc., and no one ever noticed a smell that would make you think it was something else.

  2. That’s just bizarre. I have it outside my front door, and I’ve never noticed any kind of smell, actually (the tall phlox does smell, but it’s more like talcum powder than anything else).

  3. I too have grown professionally in quantity and privately in the garden P. subulata for over 35 years without detecting that smell. We suspect the smell has a different source…..Or an insect mediated genetic transfer now allows the Phlox to produce THC. Wow.

  4. If in fact it was the phlox, I certainly hope somebody kept the strain alive! Also what the @#$% are those brits smoking! Cleome, and rhodendrons emit certain odors that can be called cannabis-like, and so do dead skunks.

  5. I grow P. subulata, and due to the strenous efforts of educators in the 70s to frighten my cohort of students I am completely aware of what pot plants look like. You would have to be a idiot to confuse P. subulata with pot.

    One of my best friends is French and he told me “there is a reason they are all (the english) on an island by themselves…”

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