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Common Bluets Houstonia caerulea

Other Common Name(s):

Description

Houstonia caerulea, commonly called common bluets, is a small, delicate perennial that is found growing in compact tufts, up to 8 in. high. The plants may cover broad expanses. The tiny pale blue flowers have yellow centers, are star-shaped, tubular and terminal, with four united petals

This lovely, delicate, flowering plant is often found in striking patches of light blue. The Star Violet (H. pusilla), to 4 (10 cm) 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 (15-40 cm) 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.

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:
Tags:
#white#butterflies#sun#yellow#partial shade#small spaces#annual#summer#blue#spring#perennial#wildflowers#low flammability#fire resistant
Cultivars:
Tags:
#white#butterflies#sun#yellow#partial shade#small spaces#annual#summer#blue#spring#perennial#wildflowers#low flammability#fire resistant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Houstonia
    Species:
    caerulea
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Distribution:
    Eastern US
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    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:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    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
    Occasionally Wet
    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
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    White
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    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:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    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