Meanwhile, I hereby reproduce an article by member Don LaFond from the just-released September newsletter. The topic: Houstonia canadensis (Canadian summer bluet).
"It's getting tougher to grow alpines in Michigan. The weather is getting hotter and more humid. So to find a native pant that at least looks like an alpine cushin, and is easily grown, well that's just grand.
|H. canadensis growing up north (from michiganflora.net)|
"I was first introduced to Houstonia canadensis on a sandy gravelly bank in the back end of a cemetery in southern Michigan. I have also seen it growing in very wet areas. Both times it was growing among other plants and grasses and under shrubs. In wet areas it rambles about, nudging its flowers up through the herbage in a polka dot fashion. When not in bloom it becomes almost unnoticeable. Unlike in the wild where it always seems to be mixed up with other plants, when growing it in a garden setting without as much competition, it can make a pretty good substitute for an alpine cushion. The leaves are 1/2" long and 1/4" wide forming a cushion to 6" across. I grow it in the ground and in troughs. Grown with an Asperula, their white and pink flowers bloom together and make great friends. In the fall the cushions turn a nice rusty red and sometimes rebloom to boot. Individual cushions don't last too many years, but its seedlings are always found in my garden. Perhaps for the gardener who is a bit of a control freak it might be a bit too aggressive, but for those of use who are a little more laissez-faire, it's great plant."