Know Your Natives – American Bluehearts

American Bluehearts

Buchnera americana, commonly known as American Bluehearts, is a species in the Broomrape (Orobanchaceae) family. It is found in prairies, glades, moist areas, wet depressions, and open woods. It favors high quality habitats.

It is found in widely scattered counties across Arkansas. Outside of Arkansas it is found in the south-central states, along the Gulf and southern Atlantic Coasts and in Florida.

American Bluehearts - Buchnera americana

Closeup of the flowers

American Bluehearts are hemi-parasites. They are able to parasitize a wide variety of woody and non-woody plants or none if necessary. We know they can parasitize a range of trees, from oaks to pines to cottonwoods.

American Bluehearts - Buchnera americana

The flowers are held at the top of a slender inflorescence roughly 16 to 30 inches tall

Bloom time is summer and early to mid fall in Arkansas. The species is fire-dependent for seed germination and growth.

Fruit of American Bluehearts - Buchnera americana

Immature fruit

Article and photographs by ANPS member Eric Hunt

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About Eric Hunt

Botanical Photographer living in Little Rock, Arkansas
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