Known as showy phlox, this flower can grow in environments were few species can survive. In the thin, mineral rich soil of the Serpentine Barrens at Nottingham PA, the dry soil supports a ecosystem of plant life and insects that are rare and unique to serpentine barrens. The barrens are small areas with outcroppings of high concentrations of iron, chromium, nickel and cobalt. The ecology of serpentine barrens is not well understood on how plants have adapted to the high concentrations of toxic minerals. Nottingham Barrens has been designated as a National Natural Landmark and is protected and preserved by the National Park Service.