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Houstonia caerulea

Houstonia caerulea L.

Hedyotis caerulea (L.) Hook.

Houstonia caerulea L. var. faxonorum Pease & A.H. Moore

Bluets, Quaker Ladies, Azure Bluet

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderGentianalesGentians, coffee, gardenias, frangipani, many others
FamilyRubiaceaeCoffee, madder, and bedstraw family
GenusHoustoniaNamed for English botanist Dr. William Houston
Speciescaerulea“Blue,” from the same root as the English word “cerulean”

About plant names...

Bluets are natives of central and eastern North America. The name “Quaker ladies” may be a reference to their white bonnets.

Identification: Azure bluets, as you can see from the photos at right, aren’t necessarily azure. Most often pale blue, they range from white to a darker shade of blue. Bluets are diminutive, less than 8" (20 cm) in height. They produce dense clusters of flowers, each about ⅜" (1 cm) across, with four petals and a yellow center. I see them most often nestled in small brilliant patches in lawns.

Online References:

Houstonia caerulea on Missouriplants.com

Houstonia caerulea on North Carolina Wildflowers, Shrubs, & Trees, by Jeff Pippen

Houstonia caerulea at Illinois Wildflowers

Houstonia caerulea at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Houstonia caerulea on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Houstonia caerulea at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium

Houstonia caerulea at the Vanderbilt University Bioimages web site

Houstonia caerulea on Southeastern Flora, the Southeastern U.S. Plant Identification Resource

Houstonia caerulea (Bluets, Quaker Ladies, Azure Bluet)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Houstonia caerulea (Bluets, Quaker Ladies, Azure Bluet)

5/11/2013 · Townsend Wildlife Management Area, Townsend, MA
≈ 4½ × 6" (12 × 15 cm)

Houstonia caerulea description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 30 Sep 2015.

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Houstonia caerulea (Bluets, Quaker Ladies, Azure Bluet)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

Houstonia caerulea (Bluets, Quaker Ladies, Azure Bluet)

5/30/2014 · Townsend Wildlife Management Area, Townsend, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 15 cm)

Houstonia caerulea (Bluets, Quaker Ladies, Azure Bluet)

5/20/2012 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Groton, MA
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm)

Houstonia caerulea (Bluets, Quaker Ladies, Azure Bluet)

The flowers are diminutive, at less than 1/4" across, but the leaves, usually hidden, are much smaller. · 5/15/2016 · Mt. Watatic, Ashby, MA

Houstonia caerulea (Bluets, Quaker Ladies, Azure Bluet)

5/20/2012 · J. Harry Rich State Forest, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 4½" (15 × 11 cm)

Range: Zones 3-8:

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