Bluets (Houstonia caerulea)

Bluets (Houstonia caerulea)Also known as: clintonia


Bloom time: May – June

Additional photos:

General: Bluets are tiny herbs (10 cm high) that grow in dense patches, covering an open meadow in what looks like a pale blue blanket.

Leaves & Twigs: Plants arise from thread-like, creeping roots from which unbranched stems sprout.

Flowers & Fruits:

  • Each stem produces a single, pale lavender flower.
  • The flowers have a bright yellow centre to guide bees to the pollen, found in the tubular flower neck.

Habitat: Bluets prefer moist grassy fields.

PlantWatch Pointers: Select a typical patch of plants, if the plants are very abundant, mark off a l-metre-square section to observe.

To Observe:

  • First bloom: when the first flowers are open in the observed plants.
  • Mid bloom: when 50% of the flowers are open in the observed plants.

Distribution Map:

Distribution Map

This species is monitored in:

  • Nova Scotia
  • Quebec

These flowers are a favourite of the beefly, a small fly that looks like a bumblebee and hovers like a hummingbird to feed from the flowers.