They Also Come in Pink

Don’t let the name fool you—not all bluets are blue.  Houstonia rosea comes in shades of pink, from rose to pale purply-pink.


The plants are even smaller than Houstonia pusilla, the bluets I charted first, but their flowers are proportionately bigger.  Their middles are yellow or greeny-yellow, rather than green.  (It’s H. caerulea, a bluet we don’t have, that has the sunny yellow middles.) Often, the flower shades to white or very pale pink between the outside of the corolla and the middle.

So at lunch today, I drew a few.

pink bluet sketch

Traced on graph paper, with colors noted:

pink bluet handchart

A color chart looks like this:

pinkbluets color chart-small

And if i stitched them more-or-less life-size on taupe:

pink bluets taupe-small

Squee! They are so cute.*  I may tinker with them a bit.  The fruit on the third one is clunky.  But mostly, I’m happy with them.  They are going to play nicely with the blue ones, too.


*I have several times had the pleasure of going out in the field with the great Texas botanist, Marshall Johnston.  (He and Donovan Stewart Correll wrote the book on Texas plants—literally!  Their Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas continues to be useful, even though it has been out of print for forty-ish years.)  He knows all the plants, in all stages of growth.  Whenever I would exclaim about some tiny plant and call it cute, he would correct me.  “Plants are not ‘cute.’   They may be interesting or beautiful, but they are not  ‘cute.'”

Sorry, Marshall.  These little guys are cute.

There Must Be Bluets

I’ve been pondering bluets…  They’re tiny, delicate, and gorgeous.


Whatever else, there must be bluets.

The Draba I’ve been working on (and I still have plans to revisit the first, larger one and un-stiffen it up a bit) turned out fairly well drawn actual size or a tad bigger and charted straight onto 16-count graph paper.  It can be one of the smallest plants in a lineup of actual-size plants.

That won’t work for bluets.  The flowers are so small that if I were to draw them life-size and go straight to graph paper, the flowers would each come out crudely and be made up of about six stitches.  Not good enough!

My plan now is to draw them two or more times life-size, chart them on 16-count graph paper, and then stitch them over-one, so they will end up tiny.  They can be stitched by themselves, they can hang out with other tiny plants (golden hedge-hyssop, I’m looking at you…), or they can be stitched over one in a design with big guys.

Here is my first set of sketches.  The plants can be a little fuller or a little less branchy, so these are about average.  This is Houstonia pusilla.  The other two local species are different as to color and proportion.

bluet sketch

You never really see something until you draw it.