Stem. - Erect, three to five inches high. Leaves. - Very small, opposite. Flowers. - Small, delicate blue, lilac, or nearly white, with a yellowish eye. Calyx. - Four-lobed. Corolla. - Salver - shaped, four - lobed, corolla - tube long and slender. Stamens. - Four. Pistil. - One, with two stigmas.
No one who has been in the Berkshire Hills during the month of May can forget the loveliness of the bluets. The roadsides, meadows, and even the lawns, are thickly carpeted with the dainty enamel-like blossoms which are always pretty, but which seem to flourish with especial vigor and in great profusion in this lovely region. Less plentiful, perhaps, but still common is the little plant in grassy places far south and west, blossoming in early spring.
The flowers are among those which botanists term "dimorphous." This word signifies occurring in two forms, and refers to the stamens and pistils, which vary in size, some flowers having a tall pistil and short stamens, others tall stamens and a short pistil. Darwin has proved, not only that one of these flowers can seldom fully fertilize itself, but that usually the blossoms with tall pistils must be fertilized with pollen from the tall sta-mens, and that the short pistils are only acted upon by the short stamens. With a good magnifier and a needle these two forms can easily be studied. This is one of the many interesting safeguards against close-fertilization.
Plate LXXXV. Bluets - H. coerulea