Long-leaved BluetsHoustonia longifolia Gaertn.
This delicate-looking spring perennial plant produces clusters of small tube-shaped flowers that are mainly pollinated by small bees and day-flying moths. There are two different flower forms. Some have long fertile styles with shorter non-fertile stamens, and others have long fertile stamens with shorter non-fertile styles. For pollination to be effective, insects must visit both flower types.
Canadian Rarity Status:
Not rare. Listed as “may be at risk” in Alberta and Quebec.
Plants have several branching, 4-sided stems that grow 9-25 cm tall. A rosette of basal leaves withers before flowers bloom. The stem leaves are opposite and linear to lance-shaped, with smooth edges and one vein. Flowers are arranged in small flat-headed clusters. Each tube-shaped flower has four spreading lobes, a hairy throat, and a green calyx with four teeth. Fruits are capsules that split open at the top to release several small black seeds.
Seeds and/or plants may be available from greenhouses and seed supply companies specializing in native plants. Plants are easy to cultivate and adapt well to rock gardens.
- Fescue Prairie
- Tall Grass Prairie
- Rocky Outcrops
- Full Sun
- Part Shade