Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Canadian Bluet - Houstonia canadensis   Willdenow ex Roemer & J.A. Schultes
Members of Rubiaceae:
Members of Houstonia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Family Rubiaceae
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AuthorWilldenow ex Roemer & J.A. Schultes
DistributionThere are collections for "Houstonia canadensis" in the Mountains from Jackson and Haywood counties, in recent years. (A collection from Onslow County must be a misidentification.) However, examination of these by the website editors suggests that they are H. purpurea with basal leaves at flowering, as the stem leaf shape and size (widely ovate) does not match what is expected for H. canadensis, which has narrow and oblong stem leaves that are pubescent. As a result, the editors have left the map as blank for now.

This is a species that ranges very close to NC, from western NY to western VA to northwestern GA, as well as at sites in eastern TN.
AbundanceThough the NCNHP has the species in its database, as S1, for whatever reason it does not track it as Significantly Rare or Watch List. But, considering the likely misidentification of the specimens, it should now be listed by them as SR (State Reported), if not SRF (State Reported Falsely). Also, Weakley (2020) shows only a "?" for the NC mountains, and does not include NC in the range. The website editors choose to use SR (reported) for the State Rank, but W3 as Watch List but without documentation.
HabitatThe habitats of the species -- strictly around limestone glades and barrens, and similar calcareous rocky outcrop margins -- are present (but rare) in the mountains of NC, but not at the collection sites for these two NC Mountain specimens.
PhenologyFlowers and fruits from April to August.
IdentificationThis is a small species somewhat similar to the quite common and widespread H. purpurea (which see). However, H. canadensis always has basal leaves during blooming, whereas H. purpurea usually lack these. The stem leaves of H. canadensis are usually rather narrow, whereas the other has widely elliptic to widely ovate leaves.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Canadian Summer Bluet
State RankS1 [SR]
Global RankG4G5
State Status[W3]
US Status
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.