Quaker Ladies

Houstonia caerulea

Quaker Ladies or Bluets
Quaker Ladies or Bluets

Everyone has seen bluets before, but did you know that the real name for them is Quaker Ladies? This is a native plant that goes unnoticed most of the time, because it is so small and low-growing. That is, until springtime. That is when Quaker Ladies send up their slender flower stalks and the beauty pageant begins.

Each stem holds one or two flowers that are only about a half-inch wide.  The flowers are tube-shaped and open into four distinct, bluish lobes that surround a yellow center. To say that they are absolutely darling does not do them full justice.  They are simply the picture of happiness!

These photos were taken at Primland, near Meadows of Dan, where a lovely colony of bluets was found hugging the bank of a mountain spring in early May. Nearby, a woodland gnome was sampling water quality, so he managed to get in the picture too.

Quaker Ladies or Bluets
Quaker Ladies or Bluets
Quaker Ladies or Bluets
Quaker Ladies or Bluets
Bluets make you happy
Bluets make you happy, no matter what you’re doing!

3 thoughts on “Quaker Ladies

  1. Happiness! This is a beautiful site whether a person is very interested in weeds (ahem, wildflowers) or simply sticks around to see such wonderful photos of our Virginia woods. I’ll be back.

  2. Bluets/Quakers Ladies. Yes, this is a lovely flower, one must see it to realize the full benefits of its beauty. Years ago, I read in a book about wildflowers and how they acquired their names [which disappeared from our local library] It stated they were so named (Quakers Ladies) by Indians as they would track where the Quakers traveled by seeing where the flowers grew [as the seeds dropped from their shoes]. It is a delight to see the flowers in early spring as they appear in clusters or stand alone. Some people do mistake them for violets and one can see in the pictures that violet leaves are among the bluets.

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