Houstonia longifolia (Long-leaf Bluets)
|Also known as:||Long-leaf Houstonia, Long-leaf Summer Bluet|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; moist to dry rocky or sandy soil; prairies, savannas, open woods, rock outcrops|
|Bloom season:||June - August|
|Plant height:||3 to 10 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are clustered in 2s or 3s at the ends of branching stems in the upper part of the plant. Individual flowers are about ¼ inch across, white to pale blue or occasionally pink, tubular with 4 sharply pointed lobes and 4 stamens with creamy white to yellow tips that turn blackish with age. The inside of the floral tube is hairy. The calyx cupping the flower is much shorter than the floral tube and has 4 narrowly triangular lobes. Flower buds are often pink.
Leaves and stem:
Basal leaves may be present but typically wither by flowering time. Stem leaves are narrow, to 1¼ inches long and ¼ inch wide, toothless and hairless, stalkless with a pointed tip. Attachment is opposite and there is a small whitish triangular appendage (stipule) on opposite sides the leaf node. Stems are 4 sided with rounded corners, mostly smooth except sometimes minutely hairy along the angles, especially on the lower stem, and either branched or unbranched except in the flower clusters.
Long-leaf Bluets are easily recognized by its tiny, 4-petaled flowers that are white to pink to pale blue, its square stems and opposite, oblong-linear leaves with triangular stipules. Its taxonomy has switched back and forth between Hedyotis longifolia and Houstonia longifolia with the latter being the currently recognized name.
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Where to buy native seed and plants ↓
- Long-leaf Bluets plants
- more plants
- rocky habitat
- prairie habitat
- basal leaves typically wither by flowering time
- pink flowered Bluets
Photos by K. Chayka taken at Wild River and Interstate State Parks, Chisago County. Photos by Peter M. Dziuk taken in Chisago and Redwood counties. Houstonia longifolia (fruit) by Keir Morse used under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.
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