Bluets (Houstonia caerulea)


Bluets (Houstonia caerulea); also known as the Azure Bluet, Innocence or Quaker-ladies; is a field flower in the Rubiaceae (Madder) family and order Rubiales. The species name is from the Latin for "blue." The genus name is in honor of Dr. William Houston, an English botanist. The order and family name is from the Latin for "madder."

The flowers are pale blue with yellow centers. Each flower is about ½ inch (1.27 centimeters) wide with four ovate lobes (petals). The male and female flowers are similar but the male flowers have prominent stamens and diminutive pistils, whereas, the female flowers have prominent pistils and diminutive stamens. The flower stems can be up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) tall with one flower per stem. The flowers grow in clumps containing just a few flowers to a virtual field of flowers.

Bluets Detail 

The leaves are entire and elongated ovate. The basal leaves form a rosette arrangement and are about½ inch (1.27 centimeters) long. The leaves on the stems are similar but much smaller and arranged oppositely.

Bluets Basal Leaves

The fruit is a flat capsule.

The root system is rhizomic.

Bluets bloom from April to June. They are usually found in shady areas, moist soil that is slightly acidic and among grasses.

This plant helps filter water runoff. It makes a small contribution to stabilizing soil.  


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