Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Rose Bluet - Houstonia rosea   (Raf.) Terrell
Members of Rubiaceae:
Members of Houstonia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Family Rubiaceae
Author(Raf.) Terrell
DistributionDiscovered on a lawn on the campus of St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, Scotland County, on February 23, 2022 by Tracy Feldman. Photos of several plants in bloom, and especially photos of the seeds, have been confirmed by B. England, who has familiarity with this sepcies. Photos and a specimen are also now available from Anson County in 2023.

Native to south-central U.S., from AL to central TX, and barely north to southeastern MO.
AbundanceVery rare. Two known records in NC, as of early 2023.
HabitatLawn in NC. Elsewhere, grows in sunny places such as roadsides, pastures, fields, etc.
PhenologyPlants in NC bloomed from late February into March. Generally flowers Feb-Apr., and fruits shortly afterward.
IdentificationA tiny species, barely reaching 1.5 inches tall even in bloom. It has very small leaves, with stem leaves mostly oblanceolate and basal ones rather ovate and rounded at the tip. Flowers are similar in shape and size to Houstonia pusilla; in its natural range the color is rosy to pink to white (to slightly very pale blue). Houstonia micrantha was also found in NC in recent years, in Wake County, and it is very similar; its leaves are less oblanceolate and can be more elliptical or rounded. The seeds of the two are quite different; see various keys for distinctions.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Pygmy Bluet
State RankSE
Global RankG5
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US Status
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Becky DillAnson County, late March 2023. AnsonPhoto_non_natural
Becky DillAnson County, 8 April 2023. AnsonPhoto_non_natural
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