Common name: Cherry pie flower, Common heliotrope
Native to: Peru
Heliotropium arborescens, commonly called heliotrope, is native to Peru. It is a tender perennial shrub that grows 2-6’ tall in its native habitat, but typically grows 12-18” tall in a growing season. This plant is an old garden favorite. Features sweetly fragrant, tiny violet flowers in large showy clusters which bloom summer to fall. Rough, oval, dark green leaves (to 3” long) are prominently veined.
Genus name comes from the Greek word heliotropion from helios meaning the sun and trope meaning a turning an allusion to an old disproved idea that the flower heads turned with the sun.
Native / exotic: Exotic
Aspect: Full sun to part shade
Flowers: Violet umbel of small clusters of flowers
Fragrance: Fragrant - cherry pie!
Foliage: Evergreen, dark, slighty furry leaves
Growth habit: Upright, open clumping, thorny
Hardiness: Hardy but not drought resistant
Height: Up to 40 cm
Spread: Up to 40cm
Soil requirements: Prefers moist well-drained soils. Keep well mulched
Uses: Used as a pretty, colourful bedding plant in borders