Houstonia longifolia Gaertn.
Family: Rubiaceae
Long-Leaf Summer Bluet,  more...
[Houstonia longifolia var. musci ]
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Paul Rothrock  
Perennial herb with fibrous roots 10 - 30 cm tall Leaves: opposite, stalkless, 1 - 3 cm long, 2 - 5 mm wide, broadly linear to narrowly oblong with a narrowed base, one-veined, hairless or nearly so. Inflorescence: a terminal cluster (cyme) of many small flowers. Flowers: short-stalked, purplish to white, 5.5 - 9 mm long, funnel-shaped, hairy within, with four lobes. The tube is twice as long as the lobes. Stamens included or barely exserted. Style one, stigmas two. Fruit: a small, dehiscent capsule, 2.5 - 3.5 mm wide, more or less spherical. Stems: numerous, slender, unbranched or branched above, sometimes finely hairy.

Similar species: Houstonia purpurea is similar but its lower leaves are three- to five-veined.

Flowering: May to July

Habitat and ecology: Local on limestone glades and gravelly sites. Typical of rocky woods, fields, and prairies in dry soil.

Occurence in the Chicago region: native

Etymology: Houstonia is named after Dr. William Houston (1695-1733), a Scottish-born surgeon and botanist who collected plants in Mexico and the West Indies. Longifolia means "long leaves."

Author: The Morton Arboretum

Houstonia longifolia image
Paul Rothrock  
Houstonia longifolia image
Paul Rothrock  
Houstonia longifolia image
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