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Houstonia caerulea L.

Bluets, quaker ladies, azure bluet, bluet

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderGentianalesGentians, coffee, gardenias, frangipani, many others
FamilyRubiaceaeCoffee, madder, and bedstraw family
GenusHoustoniaNamed for English botanist Dr. William Houston
Speciescaerulea“Blue,” from the same root as the English word “cerulean”

About plant names...

Azure bluets are cheerful natives of central and eastern North America. The name “Quaker ladies” may be a refer­ence to their prim bonnet-like flowers. They prefer moist meadows, lawns, fields, and roadsides, and other disturbed habitats; as well as cliffs, ledges, and freshwater shores.

Plants: Bluets are virtually invisble when not flowering, at less than 4" (10 cm) in height, but they make a big impact when they are, appearing in dense, attractive colonies.

Leaves: Leaves at the base of the flowers are relatively large, and oblanceolate to spatulate; while those on the stem are much smaller and similarly shaped, or sometimes linear.

Flowers: You would think bluets would be blue, and usually they are pale or darker blue-violet in color, but sometimes they are so pale they are almost white. They are about ¼" (6.3 mm) in diameter, and appear from April to early July.

Fruits: Flattened fruits are ¹/₁₆-⅛" (3-4 mm) wide, and much broader than long. Seeds are globular.

Online References:

Houstonia caerulea on Missouriplants.com

Houstonia caerulea on www.jeffpippen.com

Houstonia caerulea at Illinois Wildflowers

Houstonia caerulea at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Houstonia caerulea on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Houstonia caerulea on

Houstonia caerulea on Southeastern Flora, the Southeastern U.S. Plant Identification Resource

Houstonia caerulea at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Houstonia caerulea (bluets, quaker ladies, azure bluet, bluet)

The tiny leaves make even the ¼-inch flower look big. · 5/19/2021 · Heath Trail, Highland Green, Topsham, Maine
≈ 2½ × 3" (6.3 × 8.4 cm)

Houstonia caerulea (bluets, quaker ladies, azure bluet, bluet)

5/6/2021 · Tarbox Preserve, Topsham, Maine
≈ 3½ × 3½" (9.7 × 9.5 cm)

Houstonia caerulea (bluets, quaker ladies, azure bluet, bluet)

5/17/2021 · Bijhouwer Forest, Phippsburg, Maine
≈ 5 × 4" (13 × 10.0 cm)

Houstonia caerulea (bluets, quaker ladies, azure bluet, bluet)

5/11/2021 · Hackett and Minot Trails, Harpswell, Maine
≈ 7 × 4½" (18 × 12 cm)

Houstonia caerulea (bluets, quaker ladies, azure bluet, bluet)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Hedyotis caerulea (L.) Hook.

Houstonia caerulea L. var. faxonorum Pease & A.H. Moore

 

Houstonia caerulea description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 6 Sep 2021.

© FloraFinder.org. All rights reserved.


 

Houstonia caerulea (bluets, quaker ladies, azure bluet, bluet)

8/28/2020 · Jack’s and Litchfield Trails, Chase Reserve, Brunswick, Maine
≈ 5 × 4½" (13 × 12 cm)

Houstonia caerulea (bluets, quaker ladies, azure bluet, bluet)

5/11/2013 · Townsend Wildlife Management Area, Townsend, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 4½ × 6" (11 × 15 cm)

Houstonia caerulea (bluets, quaker ladies, azure bluet, bluet)

5/8/2021 · Carol Martin’s, Highland Green, Topsham, Maine
≈ 4½ × 7" (12 × 16 cm)

Houstonia caerulea (bluets, quaker ladies, azure bluet, bluet)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

Houstonia caerulea (bluets, quaker ladies, azure bluet, bluet)

5/30/2014 · Townsend Wildlife Management Area, Townsend, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 15 cm)

Houstonia caerulea (bluets, quaker ladies, azure bluet, bluet)

5/20/2012 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Groton, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm)

Houstonia caerulea (bluets, quaker ladies, azure bluet, bluet)

The flowers are diminutive, at less than 1/4" across, but the leaves, usually hidden, are much smaller. · 5/15/2016 · Mt. Watatic, Ashby, Mass­a­chu­setts

Houstonia caerulea (bluets, quaker ladies, azure bluet, bluet)

5/20/2012 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Groton, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 6 × 4½" (14 × 11 cm)

Range: Zones 3-8:

About this map...