North Carolina Wildflowers

by Jeffrey S. Pippen | Back to Jeff's Plant Page | Jeff's Nature Pages


Rubiaceae > Houstonia

Bluets (Houstonia caerulea) Bluets (Houstonia caerulea)
Orange Co., NC
6 April 2005

A common harbinger of Spring in NC, bluets are often found in clearings and edges of woodlands across the state.
Bluets (Houstonia caerulea) Bluets (Houstonia caerulea)
Orange Co., NC
6 April 2005

Occasionally, bluets are used as a nectar source by the first butterflies of Spring.
Bluets (Houstonia caerulea) Bluets (Houstonia caerulea)
Orange Co., NC
5 April 2005

Normally, Bluet flowers have only 4 petals. Note the aberrant individual in the middle upper left with 5 petals! Also note one flower of Tiny Bluet mixed in (reddish/violet flower, see below).
Bluets (Houstonia caerulea) Bluets (Houstonia caerulea)
Durham Co., NC
8 Apr 2009

Tiny Bluet (Housonia pusilla) Tiny Bluet (Housonia pusilla)
Orange Co., NC
5 April 2005

Found mostly in the piedmont in NC, Tiny Bluets are fairly common along the edges of and in clearings in and around woodlands & meadows.
Tiny Bluet (Housonia pusilla) Tiny Bluet (Housonia pusilla)
Bladen Co., NC
25 March 2005

Thymeleaf Bluet (Houstonia serpyllifolia)
Graham Co., NC
1 May 2004

Uncommon in rich woodlands in the NC mountains
Houstonia purpurea Thymeleaf Bluet (Houstonia serpyllifolia)
Graham Co., NC
1 May 2004

Venus' Pride, Purple Bluets (Houstonia purpurea) Venus' Pride, Purple Bluets (Houstonia purpurea)
Clay Co., NC
14 May 2005
Purple Bluets (Houstonia purpurea) Venus' Pride, Purple Bluets (Houstonia purpurea)
Buncombe Co., NC
8 July 2006
Venus' Pride, Purple Bluets (Houstonia purpurea) Venus' Pride, Purple Bluets (Houstonia purpurea)
Wake Co., NC
23 May 2009
Venus' Pride, Purple Bluets (Houstonia purpurea) Venus' Pride, Purple Bluets (Houstonia purpurea)
Wake Co., NC
23 May 2009
Venus' Pride, Purple Bluets (Houstonia purpurea) Venus' Pride, Purple Bluets (Houstonia purpurea)
Wake Co., NC
23 May 2009

Eastern Longleaf Bluet (Houstonia longifolia var. compacta) Eastern Longleaf Bluet (Houstonia longifolia var. compacta)
Thin soils on granite outcrops in Alexander Co., NC
3 July 2009

Statewide but uncommon in NC, this taxon grows in various dry habitats.

Eastern Longleaf Bluet (Houstonia longifolia var. compacta) Eastern Longleaf Bluet (Houstonia longifolia var. compacta)
Thin soils on granite outcrops in Alexander Co., NC
3 July 2009

Eastern Longleaf Bluet (Houstonia longifolia var. compacta) Eastern Longleaf Bluet (Houstonia longifolia var. compacta)
Thin soils on granite outcrops in Alexander Co., NC
3 July 2009

Eastern Longleaf Bluet (Houstonia longifolia var. compacta) Eastern Longleaf Bluet (Houstonia longifolia var. compacta)
Thin soils on granite outcrops in Alexander Co., NC
3 July 2009


Diffuse-branched Bluet (Houstonia tenuifolia, Houstonia longifolia var. tenuifolia) Diffuse-branched Bluet (Houstonia tenuifolia, Houstonia longifolia var. tenuifolia)
Durham Co., NC
5 Aug 2006

Scattered localities statewide, this bluet is uncommon to rare and grows in dry, wooded habitats.

Diffuse-branched Bluet (Houstonia tenuifolia, Houstonia longifolia var. tenuifolia) Diffuse-branched Bluet (Houstonia tenuifolia, Houstonia longifolia var. tenuifolia)
Durham Co., NC
5 Aug 2006


Annotated habitat and distribution information listed above is from Radford, Ahles, & Bell. 1968. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. UNC Press; and from personal observations and discussions with Will Cook, Harry LeGrand, and Bob Wilbur. Common names from personal experience and supplemented by the following resources USDA plants website, Flora of the Carolinas, Virginia, and Georgia, and NatureServe.


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Created on May 7, 2006 | jeffpippen9@gmail.com