The smallest of our local bluets is Houstonia micrantha, the Southern bluet. That specific epithet means “tiny flower,” and boy, do they live up to the name! The white blossoms are only a few millimeters across. Houstonia rosea (the pink one) is shorter, but has larger flowers.
Image by Claude Bailey, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
These flower at the same time as the other bluets and are frequently found in mixed populations. Here are H. micrantha and H. pusilla growing together:
Photo by J. K. Marlow.
It’s not unusual to find white-flowered individuals of H. pusilla in a population, but the size of the corolla and the stature of the plantslet you know they’re not H. micrantha.
Here is a pretty dirty sketch. I didn’t like that one side-view flower, so I redrew it above.
And the hand-drawn chart, with corrections and color notations.
Again, I’ve played with four different colorways for the foliage. It doesn’t seem to matter to the eye. They all say, “bluet.” In the field, the vast majority of plants will have foliage that is simply chlorophyll-colored, and the brain sorts it out by texture. (The best looking-out-the-car-window-at-60-mph plant identifier I ever knew was red-green colorblind. He could tell EVERYTHING apart by texture alone, though Christmas decorations were sadly lost on him.)
Here’s the chart as output by the program. It’s hard to see the stems. A good printout (rather than a screen-cap) would have them as distinct black lines.
I can’t show you a color-block chart on white because–go figure–the white squares disappear into the background. But here is how the bluets might look stitched on taupe:
Or, if stitched life-size:
I think, on a background sufficiently distinct from white, I won’t need to outline the flowers or delineate the border between the tube and the flared part of the corolla. (Botany lesson: the term for flowers shaped like this is salverform, with the narrow part of the blossom termed the tube, and the spread-out part is called the limb.
And see–they do play well with the blue ones!
I’m still not sure they look like something Gerda drew, but I’m pretty happy with them. I’ll try to make sure the next plant I chart up is one Gerda also did, so that we can make a direct comparison.