These Tiny Flowers Are Southern Favorites
Bluets, also known as azure bluets or Quaker ladies, are members of the family Rubiaceae. Their scientific name is Houstonia caerulea, and they're creeping perennials that appear as tiny wildflowers in the landscape. They spread in mounds and produce diminutive leaves and pretty, pale flowers. They're native to the Eastern United States, where they grow from Maine to Florida and as far west as Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma.
According to The New Southern Living Garden Book, "Flowers appear singly on 2- to 2 ½-inch stalks in late spring. The ½-inch-wide four-lobed flowers are pale blue (sometimes white) with a yellow eye." The flowers themselves are very small but they bloom profusely in their basal rosette form, creating a carpet of blooms wherever they're planted. The flowers appear in spring, with some continuing to bloom in summer and fall.
The New Southern Living Garden Book recommends using them in woodland gardens, rock gardens, and near stepping stones. They can also be grown as a flowering carpet around potted shrubs. Bluets thrive in acid soil with partial sun or light shade and regular water. They can grow in deep shade and have been known to live well among mosses and beneath a canopy of dense trees, though they also grow across lawns and fill in any sparse areas where grass is difficult to grow. As long as they have some shade and moist soil, they are likely to thrive.
What's your favorite blooming perennial that you've planted in your garden? Have you ever encountered bluets in the wild, and have you planted them before?