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Plant Families / Heliotropium - Heliotrope

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Heliotropium - Heliotrope

Heliotropium (Heliotrope) is a large genus of 325 species of annuals, perennials, sub-shrubs, or shrubs, grown for their large clusters of small, scented flowers in summer. Several heliotropes are popular garden plants, especially the garden heliotrope (H. arborescens), also used as an ingredient for perfume.

Pleasing and colorful in beds and borders or containers, heliotrope attracts bees and butterflies but is deer resistant.

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Heliotropium angiospermum (Scorpion Tail)

Heliotropium angiospermum (Scorpion Tail) is an annual or short-lived perennial of upright to sprawling habit. Blooming year-round, it boasts a profusion of small, white flowers with yellow throats, borne in 2 rows along one side of a coiled terminal spike. Rich in nectar, the blossoms attract a variety of bees and butterflies.

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Heliotropium arborescens (Heliotrope)

Native to Peru, Heliotropium arborescens (Heliotrope) is a tender perennial shrub in its native habitat but is usually grown as a summer bedding annual in most areas. Blooming from summer to fall, this old-fashioned favorite produces showy rounded clusters, up to 4 in. across (10 cm), of tiny violet, purple, blue, or white flowers with a sweet delicate fragrance.

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Heliotropium curassavicum (Salt Heliotrope)

Native to most of North and South America, Heliotropium curassavicum (Salt Heliotrope) is a perennial plant in its native habitat but is usually grown as an annual in colder climates. It is a sprawling plant with much-branched stems and fleshy, lance-shaped, bluish-green leaves that are thinly covered with a whitish powder. Tiny white flowers with yellow throats are produced along a gradually uncoiling stalk from spring to fall.

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Heliotropium gnaphalodes (Sea Lavender)

Heliotropium gnaphalodes (Sea Lavender) is an evergreen, mounding-to-sprawling shrub with slightly succulent, linear to spatulate leaves, 2-5 in. long (5-12 cm), densely arranged in tufts at the ends of the stems. Thick and stalkless, they are covered with soft, silky, light gray hairs, giving the plant a silvery look.

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