Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Roundleaf Bluet - Houstonia procumbens   (Walt. ex J.F. Gmel.) Standl.
Members of Rubiaceae:
Members of Houstonia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Family Rubiaceae
Author(Walt. ex J.F. Gmel.) Standl.
DistributionKnown only from a single site in Brunswick County, where discovered at a golf course on the mainland of Sunset Beach in 2020 by Harry LeGrand.

Ranges from extreme southeastern NC to FL and west to eastern LA.
AbundanceVery rare. Known from one small population -- perhaps 1m x 0.5m in extent. Added to the NCNHP's Significantly Rare list in 2021.
HabitatIn NC, a frequently mowed grassy area at a golf course, in sandy soil. Elsewhere, natural habitats are moist to dry (sandy) pinelands, dunes, and other sandy areas. Can occur in lawns, vacant sandy lots, and along trails.
PhenologyPeak blooming from February to April, but it can bloom over much of the year, secondarily from October into winter. Fruits soon after flowering.
IdentificationThis is a quite different Houstonia from others in NC, it being prostrate with small dimensions, almost a "belly plant". The numerous creeping stems grow only to about 2-4 inches long, with numerous opposite leaves that are oval to orbicular, only about 7-10 mm long and nearly as wide. A few scattered flowering stalks rise only about 1 inch tall, with a solitary white flower that averages only 2/5-inch across. Plants typically grow in a somewhat tangled mass such that it is difficult to count the number of individuals. If not in bloom, when the small white flowers are visible, a mat of the plant can be easily overlooked.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Creeping Bluet, Fairy-footprints
State RankS1
Global RankG5
State StatusSR-P
US Status
USACE-agcp
USACE-emp
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Lori ArentSea Trail Golf Club, Sunset Beach (mainland), Brunswick County; 22 October 2020 BrunswickPhoto_natural
Lori ArentSea Trail Golf Club, Sunset Beach (mainland), Brunswick County; 22 October 2020 BrunswickPhoto_natural
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