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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Houstonia caerulea L.
Azure bluet, Quaker-ladies, Bluets
Synonym(s): Hedyotis caerulea, Houstonia caerulea var. faxonorum
USDA Symbol: HOCA4
This small, delicate perennial is found growing in compact tufts, 8 in. high. The plants may cover broad expanses. Tiny flowers are pale blue with yellow centers, tubular, four-lobed, solitary, and terminal. Spatula-shaped leaves occur in basal rosettes. Stem leaves are small and the stems are unbranched.
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.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul
, WV Canada: NB
, QC Native Distribution:
N.S. to Ont. & WI,
s. to GA, LA
& AR; more common eastward Native Habitat: Deciduous
woods; moist meadows; clearings
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Moist soils.
Conditions Comments: Bluets do well when grown among grasses of lawns and fields, but care should be taken not to mow them before they have set seed. Bluets are sometimes planted as a delicate, attractive addition to rock gardens.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Plant seeds outside as soon as ripe or store, stratify and sow in the spring. Seeds should be sown at a shallow depth. These seedlings will germinate the first year and flower
the second. Propagation by division is accomplished by digging the plants in Seed Collection:
Approximate collection date in northern U.S.: Late Jun. to mid Jul. Seed Treatment:
Moist stratification. Commercially Avail:
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Delaware Nature Society
- Hockessin, DELongwood Gardens
- Newark, DEMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2012-10-03
Research By: TWC Staff