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Longleaf Bluet - Houstonia longifolia

Longleaf Bluet - Houstonia longifolia

Houstonia longifolia, or Longleaf Bluet, is a perennial wildflower native to Michigan and the UP. It is tiny, topping out at 10 inches but usually closer to 6, but it puts out a lot of flowers for such a diminutive plant. I can tell you that this is one of the best bee magnets we have in the greenhouse, blooming late spring to summer. The little flowers are abuzz with pollinators from the moment they open, including small bees, pollinating flies, and Skipper butterfiles. According to Illinois Wildflowers, Longleaf Bluets are also the host for a small moth, Thyris maculata (Spotted Thyris). The little clusters of flowers are usually blueish, but can range from nearly white to pink.


Longleaf Bluets are easily shaded out by larger plants. Plant them on the front edge with your other tiny things, or tuck them into a rock garden where larger plants will be kept at bay. They like sparsely vegetated areas in the wild and are at home on shallow soils over limestone, but also acidic jack pine barrens. They are tolerant of poor soils and will grow in dry, sandy, or rocky spots with full to part sun. They also work well between paving stones. While we recommend most native plants be spaced about 12 inches apart, Bluets will fill in better if spaced closer to 6” apart.

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