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Bluets Houstonia caerulea

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
hoos-TOH-nee-uh see-ROO-lee-uh
Description

Bluet is a herbaceous perennial that may grow to a height of 6 inches. The leaves are opposite with a smooth margin. The leaves that originate at the base of the stem are large, while the two leaves on the stem are small. Blue flowers with yellow centers first mature in mid-spring and continue into early summer.

This lovely, delicate, flowering plant is often found in striking patches of light blue. The Star Violet (H. pusilla), to 4 in high, has a tiny purple flower and occurs in fields and open woods from South Dakota east to Maryland and south to Florida and Texas. A tall southern species, 6-16 in high, Large Houstonia (H. purpurea), has 3-5, ribbed, opposite, ovate leaves, and white or pink flowers. It occurs from Nebraska northeast to Maine and south to Florida and Texas. These and certain other Houstonia species have sometimes been placed in the genus Hedyotis.

Fire Risk: This plant has a low flammability rating.

Regions:  Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal plains

Seasons of Interest: 

  Blooms:   Spring           Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Summer

Wildlife Value: This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer.  Its flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#sun#yellow#partial shade#small spaces#annual#summer#blue#perennial#wildlife plant#wildflowers#low flammability#NC native#fire resistant#spring interest#native wildflower#butterfly friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#sun#yellow#partial shade#small spaces#annual#summer#blue#perennial#wildlife plant#wildflowers#low flammability#NC native#fire resistant#spring interest#native wildflower#butterfly friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Houstonia
    Species:
    caerulea
    Family:
    Rubiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Distribution:
    Eastern US
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    fire in the landscape.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 3 in. - 0 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 2 in. - 0 ft. 4 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    White
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flower stems are unbranched. Flowers have a yellow center with four stamens attached to the corolla tube.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Spatulate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves on the flower stem (opposite) are much smaller than those at the base (rosulate).
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Rock Wall
    Small Space
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Fire