Houstonia caerulea
azure bluet

Houstonia caerulea
Houstonia caerulea
photo courtesy Renee Brecht
Britton & Brown
Botanical name: Houstonia caerulea
Common name: azure bluet
Group: dicot
Family: Rubiaceae
Growth type: forb/herb
Duration: perennial
Origin: native
Plant height: clumps to 4" wide
Foliage: basal rosette, leaves narrowly oval, broader toward tip; upper leaves narrower
Flower: 4 pale blue petals with yellow center, 1 flower per stalk
Flowering time: bloom late April to late May; fruit June
Habitat: moist open, sandy or rocky ground of deciduous woods and shaded edges, meadows, grassy slopes
Range in New Jersey: throughout north Jersey, decreasing southward through the Inner Coastal Plain to Cumberland County.
Heritage ranking, if any: n/a
Misc. pollinated by small bee flies and native bees

James Percival, a New England poet, wrote a poem "To The Hostonia Cerulea"

"How often, modest flower,
I mark thy tender blossoms, where they spread,
Along the turfy slope, their starry bed,
Hung heavy with the shower."

and notes " A very delicate and humble flower of New England, blossoming early in spring, and often covering large patches of turf with a white or pale blue carpet. The botanical allusions in this piece are repeated, and perhaps it will not be fully relished by those, who have not examined the structure of the flower".