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Zone
Zones 15-17, 23, 24, H1, H2
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water
Moderate
Toxicity
All parts are poisonous if ingested.

Heliotropium arborescens

Heliotrope
Boraginaceae
Annuals, Perennials

HELIOTROPIUM

Species of this genus produce clusters of tiny flowers with a sweet, delicate fragrance. Foliage is handsome. Provide well-drained soil.

Heliotropium arborescens

From Peru. This old-fashioned favorite grows to 4 ft. tall, 2 ft. wide in the mild-winter zones where it is a perennial, but it’s typically treated in all regions as a summer bedding annual to 1 1/2 to 2 ft. high, 1 to 1 1/2 ft. wide. Dark violet, purple, blue, or white blossoms are densely set in curved, one-sided spikes that form rounded, 3 to 4-in. clusters. They have a scent reminiscent of vanilla. Veined leaves have a darkish purple cast.

‘Black Beauty’ and ‘Iowa’ are varieties with deep purple flowers; there are also dwarf forms under 1 ft. high.

All are good in pots (in cold climates, overwinter them in a frost-free spot). They can take full sun in cooler climates but need partial shade in warmer ones.

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