Found a sizable patch of Azure Bluets (Houstonia caerulea L.) in full bloom on the Central Tract today, 7 April. It is differentiated from the similar looking Tiny Bluets (Houstonia pusilia) by its basally disposed leaves. Tiny bluets’s flowering stems are more branched and the leaves are less basally disposed. There are also some subtle differences in the measurements of the floral structures.
Azure Bluets are native in Eastern North America from Ontario and Newfoundland in the North, and from Louisiana and Florida in the south. There are scattered populations as far west as Oklahoma. They are fairly common in well-drained open fields and disturbed areas throughout the Refuge.
Weakley, A.S.2015. Flora of the Southern and Mid–Atlantic States. Working draft of 21 May 2015. Univ. of North Carolina Herbarium (NCU), Chapel Hill. <http://www.herbarium.unc.edu/flora.htm>