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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Boraginales

Familia: Boraginaceae
Subfamilia: Heliotropioideae
Genus: Heliotropium
Sectiones: H. sect. Chamaetropium – H. sect. Cochranea – H. sect. Coeloma – H. sect. Heliothamnus – H. sect. Heliotrophytum – H. sect. Heliotropium – H. sect. Hypsogenia – H. sect. Monimantha – H. sect. Odontotropium – H. sect. Orthostachys – H. sect. Plagiomeris – H. sect. Platygyne – H. sect. Pleurolasia – H. sect. Pseudocoeloma – H. sect. Pterotropium – H. sect. Rutidotheca – H. sect. Schobera – H. sect. Tiaridium


H. abbreviatum – H. acuminatum – H. acutiflorum – H. adenogynum – H. aegyptiacum – H. aenigmatum – H. aequoreum – H. agdense – H. albiflorum – H. albovillosum – H. albrechtii – H. alcyonium – H. alii – H. ammophilum – H. amnis-edith – H. amplexicaule – H. anchusanthum – H. andrade-limae – H. angiospermum – H. angustiflorum – H. anomalum – H. antiatlanticum – H. apertum – H. applanatum – H. arbainense – H. arborescens – H. arboreum – H. arenicola – H. arenitense – H. argenteum – H. arguzioides – H. argyreum – H. asperrimum – H. astrotrichum – H. aucheri – H. auro-argenteum – H. azzanum

H. bacciferum – H. alfourii – H. baluchistanicum – H. benadirense – H. biannulatiforme – H. biannulatum – H. biblianum – H. bogdanii – H. borasdjunense – H. bovei – H. brachygyne – H. brachythrix – H. bracteatum – H. brevilimbe – H. bucharicum – H. buruense

H. cabulicum – H. calcareum – H. calvariavis – H. chalcedonium – H. chaudharyanum – H. chenopodiaceum – H. chorassanicum – H. chrysocarpum – H. ciliatum – H. circinatum – H. collinum – H. confertiflorum – H. congestum – H. conocarpum – H. consimile – H. coriaceum – H. cornutum – H. cracens – H. crassifolium – H. crispatum – H. crispum – H. cunninghamii – H. curassavicum – H. cuspidatum

H. dasycarpum – H. delestangii – H. dentatum – H. denticulatum – H. derafontense – H. dichotomum – H. dichroum – H. dicricophorum – H. diffusum – H. digynum – H. disciforme – H. discorde – H. dissitiflorum – H. distantiflorum – H. diversifolium – H. dolosum

H. ellipticum – H. elongatum – H. epacrideum – H. eremobium – H. eremogenum – H. erianthum – H. eritrichioides – H. esfahanicum – H. esfandiarii – H. euodes – H. europaeum

H. fartakense – H. fasciculatum – H. fedtschenkoanum – H. ferreyrae – H. ferrugineogriseum – H. filaginoides – H. filifolium – H. flaviflorum – H. flintii – H. floridum – H. formosanum – H. foveolatum – H. fragillimum – H. frohlichii

H. galioides – H. gaubae – H. geissei – H. genovefae – H. geocharis – H. giessii – H. gillianum – H. glabellum – H. glabriusculum – H. glanduliferum – H. glutinosum – H. gossypii – H. gracillimum – H. grande – H. greuteri – H. griffithii – H. gypsaceum

H. haesum – H. haitense – H. halacsyi – H. halame – H. harareense – H. haussknechtii – H. heteranthum – H. hintonii – H. hirsutissimum

H. incanum – H. inconspicuum – H. indicum – H. inexplicitum – H. intermedium

H. jaffiuelii – H. jizanense – H. johnstonii

H. kaserunense – H. kavirense – H. keralense – H. khayyamii – H. krauseanum – H. kumense – H. kuriense – H. kurtzii

H. lamondiae – H. lanceolatum – H. lapidicola – H. laricum – H. lasianthum – H. lasiocarpum – H. laxum – H. leiocarpum – H. leptaleum – H. leucocladum – H. lignosum – H. lilloi – H. linariifolium – H. lineare – H. lippioides – H. litvinovii – H. longicalyx – H. longiflorum – H. longistylum – H. luteoviride – H. luzonicum

H. macrodon – H. macrolimbe – H. macrostachyum – H. madurense – H. magistri – H. makranicum – H. mamanense – H. mandonii – H. maranjonense – H. marchionicum – H. marifolium – H. maris-mortui – H. megalanthum – H. melanochaeta – H. melanopedii – H. mesinanum – H. messerschmidioides – H. micranthos – H. microsalsoloides – H. microspermum – H. microstachyum – H. minutiflorum – H. mitchellii – H. molle – H. moorei – H. muelleri – H. murinum – H. muticum – H. myosotifolium – H. myosotoides – H. myriophyllum

H. nanum – H. nashii – H. nesopelydum – H. nexosum – H. nicotianifolium – H. nigricans – H. nodulosum – H. noeanum

H. olgae – H. oliganthum – H. oliverianum – H. ophioglossum – H. oxapampanum

H. pachyphyllum – H. pamparomasense – H. pannifolium – H. paronychioides – H. parviantrum – H. parvulum – H. patagonicum – H. pauciflorum – H. paulayanum – H. peckhamii – H. peninsularis – H. perlmanii – H. personatum – H. petiolare – H. philippianum – H. phylicoides – H. pileiforme – H. pinnatisectum – H. piurense – H. pleiopterum – H. plumosum – H. popovii – H. prostratum – H. protensum – H. pseudoindicum – H. pterocarpum – H. pueblense – H. pycnophyllum

H. ramosissimum – H. ramulipatens – H. rechingeri – H. remotiflorum – H. rhadinostachyum – H. riebeckii – H. riedlii – H. rotundifolium – H. roxburghii – H. rudbaricum – H. rufipilum – H. ruhanyi – H. ruiz-lealii – H. rusbyi

H. samoliflorum – H. Heliotropium – H. sarmentosum – H. schahpurense – H. schreiteri – H. schweinfurthii – H. scotteae – H. seravschanicum – H. serpentinicum – H. shirazicum – H. shoabense – H. simile – H. sinuatum – H. skeleton – H. sogdianum – H. sokotranum – H. sphaericum – H. stenophyllum – H. steudneri – H. stevenianum – H. styligerum – H. suaveolens – H. submolle – H. subreniforme – H. subspinosum – H. sudanicum – H. sultanense – H. supinum – H. synaimon – H. szovitsii

H. tabuliplagae – H. tachyglossoides – H. taftanicum – H. taltalense – H. tanythrix – H. texanum – H. thermophilum – H. tiaridioides – H. transalpinum – H. transforme – H. trichostomum – H. tubulosum – H. tytoides – H. tzvelevii

H. ulei – H. ulophyllum – H. uniflorum – H. uninerve

H. vagum – H. velutinum – H. ventricosum – H. verdcourtii – H. veronicifolium – H. vestitum – H. viator – H. viridiflorum

H. wagneri – H. wissmannii

H. zeylanicum – H. ziegleri
Source(s) of checklist:

Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Heliotropium in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Oct 13. Reference page.


Heliotropium L. (1753)

Type species: Heliotropium europaeum L.


Beruniella Zakal. & Nabiev
Bourjotia Pomel
Bucanion Steven
Ceballosia G.Kunkel ex Förther
Cochranea Miers
Dialion Raf.
Eliopia Raf.
Heliophytum DC.
Hieranthemum Spach
Lithococca Small ex Rydb.
Notonerium Benth.
Oskampia Raf.
Parabouchetia Baill.
Pentacarya DC. ex Meisn.
Piptoclaina G.Don
Pittonia Mill.
Sarcanthus Andersson
Schobera Scop.
Scorpianthes Raf.
Scorpiurus Heist. ex Fabr.
Synzistachium Raf.
Tetrandra Miq.
Tiaridium Lehm.
Valentina Speg.
Valentiniella Speg.
Meladendron Molina

Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species plantarum, exhibentes plantas rite cognitas, ad genera relatas, cum differentiis specificis, nominibus trivialibus, synonymis selectis, locis natalibus, secundum systema sexuale digestas. Tomus I. Pp. [I–XII], 1–560. Impensis Laurentii Salvii, Holmiae [Stockholm]. BHL Reference page. : 130.

Additional references

El Naggar, S.; El Hadidy, A.; Olwey, A. 2014 (Accepted): Taxonomic revision of Heliotropium L. (Boraginaceae s.l.) in south of Yemen. Nordic journal of botany, DOI: 10.1111/njb.00746


Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Heliotropium in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Oct 13. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2020. Heliotropium. Published online. Accessed: Oct 13 2020. 2020. Heliotropium. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Oct 13.
Catalogue of Life: 2020 Annual Checklist

Vernacular names
Deutsch: Sonnenwenden
suomi: Heliotroopit
français: Héliotrope
hornjoserbsce: Wobrotnička
magyar: Kunkor
日本語: キダチルリソウ属
Nederlands: Heliotroop
русский: Гелиотроп
Türkçe: Bambul otu

Heliotropium /ˌhiːliəˈtroʊpiəm, -lioʊ-/[3] is a genus of flowering plants in the borage family, Boraginaceae. There are around 325 species in this almost cosmopolitan genus,[4] which are commonly known as heliotropes (sg. /ˈhiːli.ətroʊp/ ). It is highly toxic for dogs and cats.


The name "heliotrope" derives from the old idea that the inflorescences of these plants turned their rows of flowers to the sun.[5] Ἥλιος (helios) is Greek for "sun", τρέπειν (trepein) means "to turn". The Middle English name "turnsole" has the same meaning.

A Classical myth, told in Ovid's Metamorphoses, imagines that the water nymph Clytie, in love with the sun god Helios, was betrayed by him. Wasting away, she transformed into the heliotrope, whose flowers supposedly always face the sun.
Ecology and human use
Grey leaf heliotrope Heliotropium ovalifolium at Pocharam lake, Andhra Pradesh, India.

Several heliotropes are popular garden plants, most notably garden heliotrope (H. arborescens). Some species are weeds, and many are hepatotoxic if eaten in large quantities due to abundant pyrrolizidine alkaloids. There have been cases of canine death due to over-ingestion of this toxic plant.[6][7] Some danaine butterflies, such as male queen butterflies, visit these plants, being attracted to their pyrrolizidine alkaloids.[8] Though it is not palatable and most animals will completely ignore it, there have been cases of horses, swine and cattle being poisoned due to contamination of hay.[9]

Caterpillars of the grass jewel (Freyeria trochylus), a gossamer-winged butterfly, feed on H. strigosum.

The sap of heliotrope flowers, namely of European heliotrope (H. europaeum), was used as a food coloring in Middle Ages and Early Modern French cuisine.

One of the most famous ragtime piano melodies is "Heliotrope Bouquet", composed in 1907 by Louis Chauvin (the first two strains) and Scott Joplin (the last two strains).

Garden heliotrope is grown in Southern Europe as an ingredient for perfume.[10]

The purplish facial rash of dermatomyositis is called "heliotrope rash" because it resembles E. arborescens.[11]
Heliotrine and Heliotridine
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (February 2021)

Seeds of the Heliotropium genus were discovered in the 1940s and 50s to be responsible for liver disease in populations that consumed them in large quantities, either inadvertently (as a contaminant of food crops) or deliberately (associated with the ingestion of herbal infusions for the treatment of certain ailments). The seeds contained high concentrations of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, identified mainly as the N-oxide of heliotrine (74%), and one or two other compounds similar in character to lasiocarpine. [12]

Taxonomic revision supported through molecular phylogenetics led to the recognition of Euploca as genus separate from Heliotropium.[13][4] In contrast, the genus Tournefortia was included in Heliotropium in a 2016 revision.[4]

Within Heliotropium, there are four major clades:[4]

Heliotropium sect. Heliothamnus I.M.Johnst.
Old World Heliotropium clade
Heliotropium sect. Cochranea (Miers) Post & Kuntze
Tournefortia clade, comprising Tournefortia sect. Tournefortia and all remaining New World Heliotropium species

Selected species
Heliotropium amplexicaule Vahl – clasping heliotrope, summer heliotrope, blue heliotrope
Heliotropium anderssonii
Heliotropium angiospermum
Heliotropium anomalum Hook. & Arn. – Polynesian heliotrope, Pacific heliotrope (Pacific Islands)
Heliotropium anomalum var. argenteum – hinahina kū kahakai (Hawaii)
Heliotropium arborescens – garden heliotrope, common heliotrope, cherry pie
Heliotropium argenteum
Heliotropium asperrimum R.Br.
Heliotropium balfourii
Heliotropium bracteatum R.Br.
Heliotropium conocarpum F.Muell. ex Benth.
Heliotropium crispatum F.Muell. ex Benth.
Heliotropium diversifolium F.Muell. ex Benth.
Heliotropium chenopodiaceum (A.DC.) Clos.
Heliotropium claussenii DC.
Heliotropium curassavicum L. – seaside heliotrope, salt heliotrope, monkey tail, quail plant, Chinese parsley; cola de mico (Spanish)
Heliotropium dentatum
Heliotropium derafontense
Heliotropium ellipticum
Heliotropium epacrideum F.Muell. ex Benth.
Heliotropium europaeum L. – European heliotrope, European turnsole (Europe, Asia, and North Africa)
Heliotropium fasciculatum R.Br.
Heliotropium flintii F.Muell. ex A.S.Mitch.
Heliotropium foertherianum Diane & Hilger – tree heliotrope, velvet soldierbush, octopus bush (South Asia, East Asia, Melanesia, western Polynesia, northern Australia)
Heliotropium foliatum R.Br.
Heliotropium glabellum R.Br.
Heliotropium heteranthum (F.Muell.) Ewart & O.B.Davies
Heliotropium indicum L. – Indian turnsole
Heliotropium kuriense
Heliotropium laceolatum Loefg.
Heliotropium lineariifolium Phil.
Heliotropium megalanthumn I.M.Johnst.
Heliotropium nigricans
Heliotropium paniculatum R.Br.
Heliotropium pannifolium – St. Helena heliotrope (Saint Helena) (extinct, c. 1820)
Heliotropium pauciflorum R.Br.
Heliotropium paulayanum
Heliotropium pleiopterum F.Muell.
Heliotropium popovii
Heliotropium prostratum R.Br.
Heliotropium ramosissimum
Heliotropium riebeckii
Heliotropium shoabense
Heliotropium sinuatum (Miers) I.M.Johnst.
Heliotropium socotranum
Heliotropium stenophyllum
Heliotropium strigosum Willd.
Heliotropium tenellum
Heliotropium ventricosum R.Br.
Heliotropium wagneri
Heliotropium aff. wagneri (Samhah, Yemen)

Formerly included here

Chrozophora tinctoria (as H. tricoccum)
Tournefortia gnaphalodes (L.) R.Br. ex Roem. & Schult. (as H. gnaphalodes L.)[14]

See also

Heliotrope (disambiguation)


"Heliotropium L". TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2010-01-12.
"Genus: Heliotropium L". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2006-04-02. Archived from the original on 2009-08-27. Retrieved 2010-01-12.
Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
Luebert, F.; Cecchi, L.; Frohlich, M.W.; et al. (2016). "Familial classification of the Boraginales". Taxon. 65 (3): 502–522. doi:10.12705/653.5. ISSN 0040-0262. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
Chittenden, Fred J. Ed., Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening, Oxford 1951
"Veterinarians and Animal Hospital in Limerick, PA". Archived from the original on 2018-02-17.
Kakar, Faizullah et al. “An outbreak of hepatic veno-occlusive disease in Western afghanistan associated with exposure to wheat flour contaminated with pyrrolizidine alkaloids.” Journal of toxicology vol. 2010 (2010): 313280. doi:10.1155/2010/313280
Male sex pheromone of a giant danaine butterfly, Idea leuconoe
Witherill, Richard (15 January 2013). "Heliotrope". PAWS Dog Daycare. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
Floridata: Heliotropium arborsecens
(Dubrovinskii, 1947, 1952; Khanin, 1948; Bras et al., 1954, 1961; Bras & Hill, 1956; cited in World Health Organization (1988), PYRROLIZIDINE ALKALOIDS, INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMME ON CHEMICAL SAFETY, ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH CRITERIA 80.
Hilger, H.H.; Diane, N. (2003). "A systematic analysis of Heliotropiaceae (Boraginales) based on trnL and ITS1 sequence data". Botanische Jahrbücher. 125 (1): 19–51. doi:10.1127/0006-8152/2003/0125-0019. ISSN 0006-8152.

"GRIN Species Records of Heliotropium". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Archived from the original on 2012-12-11. Retrieved 2010-09-17.

Everitt, J.H.; Lonard, R.L.; Little, C.R. (2007). Weeds in South Texas and Northern Mexico. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press. ISBN 978-0-89672-614-7.

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