Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum


Texas bluebells, Texas bluebell, Bluebell, Showy prairie gentian, Prairie gentian


Gentianaceae (Gentian Family)



Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum (Texas bluebells)
Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn
Both the leaves and erect, 1 1/2 ft. stems of prairie gentian are blue-green and covered with a waxy bloom. The extremely showy flowesr can be blue, purple, pink, white, or yellow. Bell-shaped and upright, the flowers occur singly at the ends of long stalks from short branches near the top of the plant.

Depending on where this species is grown, it may act like an annual, a biennial or a perennial. In most of its native range its a perennial. This subspecies (formerly considered the species E. grandiflorum) is one of the handsomest prairie wildflowers. Eustoma, from the Greek eu (good) and stoma (mouth), refers to the large opening into the flowers throat where the corolla lobes join. The Japanese have been breeding Texas Bluebells for over 70 years. In Japan, this plant is known as Lisianthus, an older name for the Eustoma genus. It has been developed in pink, white, and deep purple blue color varieties with both single and doubled petaled flowers. One reason Texas Bluebells are not as common now as they once were is due to their beauty. People have literally picked them from the wild in such numbers that the wild populations have been unable to reseed in their native habitat.

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual , Biennial , Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Flower:
Fruit:
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep

Distribution

USA: AR , CO , KS , LA , MT , NE , NM , OK , SD , TX , WY
Native Distribution: NE to s.e. WY, s. to TX & Mex.
Native Habitat: Found in moist places in fields and prairies, especially in areas adjacent to streams and tanks.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, sandy or sandy loams.
Conditions Comments: The large flowers have an intense hue and keep blooming when many other plants are looking crispy and brown in the summer. The blue-gray foliage is almost succulent. Combined with Indian grass, bluebells looks great, especially in larger gardens.

Benefit

Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: High

Last Update: 2009-04-18