En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Souce for Houstonia caerulea in Massachusetts

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - April 25, 2013

From: Worcester, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources, Wildflowers
Title: Souce for Houstonia caerulea in Massachusetts
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I am looking for bluet (Houstonia caerulea or H. serpyllifolia). I can't find them anywhere. The two sites listed under possible distributors under H. caerulea have not gotten back to me. I read that bluets are on the endangered species list on the USDA site. If this is true, is there an effort to cultivate seeds? I would very much like bluets for my yard here in Massachusetts but can't find them anywhere. I hope you can help me.

ANSWER:

The wonderful little bluet (Houstonia caerulea) that is native to the eastern part of North America will take some patience to obtain. The demand for this beloved plant has overcome the availability. You may need to plan to order seed or reserve plants well in advance (or as soon as it becomes available) to get some for next season.

By the way, the Delaware Nature Society have a few plants of H. caerulea available for sale at their upcoming plant sale this year.

Gardensnorth.com did have seeds but they have sold out for this year. Perhaps they can let you know when more seed will be available.

Another option is to join the North American Rock Garden Society. They offer donated seed to their members early in the year and did have Houstonia caerulea on the (now closed) 2012-2013 list.

As far as the plant's conservation status, The New England Wildflower Society have a very informative webpage for Houstonia caerulea and indicate on their Distribution and Conservation page that it is “present” in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The USDA list several Houstonia as threatened and endangered, but not H. caerulea. The ones that are threatened and endangered are H. serpyllifolia (thymeleaf bluet) native to the Southeast, H. purpurea (Venus’ pride) also in the Southeast, and H. longifolia (longleaf summer bluet) from the central part of North America. 

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Azure bluet
Houstonia caerulea

Azure bluet
Houstonia caerulea

More Wildflowers Questions

Mrs. Johnsons favorite flower
November 27, 2007 - I recall the the Black-eyed Susan was Lady Bird Johnson's favorite flower, is that true? Did she have other favorites?
view the full question and answer

Alternative names for Aquilegia Sanguinaria
May 03, 2006 - I am looking for the common name for a flower called Aquilegia Sanguinaria. Can you help? Does this even exist?
view the full question and answer

Invasive Indian paintbrushes in Grawn MI
June 04, 2012 - I have lots of Indian paintbrushes crowding my lawn and taking over the grass..what kills it without killing the grass?
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnets emerging early after cool, wet spring
August 20, 2007 - Typically I see bluebonnet seedlings begin to erupt in the early Fall. But this year, I began to see seedlings almost immediately after my crop went to seed. In fact, it is now early August and I ha...
view the full question and answer

Spanish name for bluebonnet
May 14, 2008 - What is the Spanish name for bluebonnet? They were in Texas before any other Europeans and must have named the flower. I cannot find it anywhere.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center