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Houstonia caerulea

Pronunciation: hoos-TOH-nee-uh see-ROO-lee-uh
Family: Rubiaceae
Synonym: Hedyotis caerulea, Houstonia caerulea var. faxonorum, Oldenlandia caerulea
Common Name: Azure Bluets, Bluets, Innocence, Quaker-ladies
Plant Type:
  • perennial
Height to: 6 inches
Width to: Indefinite
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -30 to -40ºF ZONE 3
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
Sun Exposure:
  • full shade
  • part sun
Bloom Season:
  • early spring
  • mid spring
  • late spring
Bloom Description: Azure Bluets (Houstonia caerulea) bears solitary, pale blue, yellow centered flowers, 1/2in across.
Soil Type: humus rich, moist but well drained, perferably acidic soil. Ideally in shadey rock crevices.
Plant Perks:
  • Rock Garden
  • Deer Resistant
  • Attracts Butterflies
  • Mass Planting
Pests and Diseases: susceptible to rust, snails, slugs
Propagation: Sow Azure Bluets (Houstonia caerulea) seed in spring, divide in spring or autumn. Root stem tip cuttings in early summer
Native to: North America
Winter Sowing Zones: 3 to 8
Notes for Identification:

Azure Bluets (Houstonia caerulea) is a perennial with rosette of basal leaves and one or more flowering stems with opposite leaves. The basal leaves are about ½in long, medium green, elliptic or oblanceolate in shape, glabrous, and smooth along their margins.

The flowers of Azure Bluets attract Little Carpenter bees (Ceratina spp.), Green Metallic bees and other Halictid bees, bee flies (Bombyliidae), and small butterflies. Blanchon (1901) observed the butterfly Boloria bellona (Meadow Fritillary) as a frequent visitor of the flowers. Both nectar and pollen are available as floral rewards. According to Covell (1984/2005), Houstonia spp. (Bluets) are host plants for caterpillars of the moth Thyris maculata (Spotted Thyris). 

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • Less then 1 day ZONE 1
  • 1 to 7 days ZONE 2
  • 7 to 14 days ZONE 3
  • 14 to 30 days ZONE 4
  • 30 to 45 days ZONE 5
  • 45 to 60 days ZONE 6
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
Located in: Perennials
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