Botanical Name : Heliotropium arborescens
Species: H. arborescens
*Heliotropium corymbosum Ruiz & Pav.
*Heliotropium peruvianum L.
Common Names: Heliotrope, Garden heliotrope, Cherry Pie, Heliotrope
Heliotropium arborescens is native to Peru. It grows in the coastal: forests, lomas from sea level to 3500 metres.
Heliotropium arborescens is an evergreen tall and broad shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a medium rate. it is a bushy, evergreen, short-lived with dense clusters of bright purple flowers, notable for their intense, rather vanilla-like fragrance. It is in leaf all year, in flower from May to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies).
Prefers a rich well-drained soil in full sun. Plants grow best in a sandy loam. Severely damaged by low temperatures, this plant is not hardy in Britain but it can be grown as a half-hardy annual, flowering in its first year from seed. If grown as a shrub, it requires a minimum winter temperature of 5 – 7°c. Plants stop growing when night-time temperatures fall below 5°c and are likely to be killed once the temperature falls below -2°c. The plant turns its leaves and flowers so that it is always facing the sun during the day. The flowers have a most unusual perfume, somewhat like cherries baked in a pie. It is a good butterfly plant. A parent of the cultivated ornamental garden heliotropes, there are many named varieties. Special Features:Not North American native, Attracts butterflies, Fragrant flowers.
The plant is used to make a febrifugal tea. A homeopathic remedy is made from the whole fresh plant. It is used in the treatment of clergyman’s sore throat and uterine displacement. The purple coloration of the flower lent itself to the so-called “heliotrope cyanosis” that was characteristic of severely ill patients in the 1918 flu pandemic.
Landscape Uses:Border, Container . An essential oil obtained from the flowers is used in perfumery. The plant is sometimes used as a low hedge, though it is not hardy enough in Britain for this purpose.
Known Hazards: The seeds are poisonous
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.