Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Collecting native plants of Texas
March 06, 2009 - Where can I find native plants of Texas to collect? I am doing a project and I need native Texan flowers here in Austin or around here.
view the full question and answer

Flower sucession for Washington DC
June 18, 2012 - Interplanting to cover up spring ephemerals. When bulbs/spring ephemerals (camassia, bluebells, etc.) are dying back, their wilting leaves don't look so great. What can I plant to minimize the me...
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnets and paintbrushes for Florida
September 13, 2008 - Will bluebonnets and indian paintbrushes grow in the Florida panhandle?
view the full question and answer

Will wildflowers planted in late December bloom this year?
January 24, 2009 - I have a home near Canyon Lake and seeded wildflowers on the property in late December. I have since read that the ideal time to seed them is before December 1st. Do they have a chance to bloom this...
view the full question and answer

List of most popular wildflowers in Texas Hill Country from Austin
January 15, 2011 - Can you please tell me the top 10 wildflowers found in the Texas hill country..by numbers, not popularity?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.