Heliotropium fruticosum L.
Family: Boraginaceae
Heliotropium fruticosum image
© Heike Vibrans  
Kearney and Peebles 1969, Shreve and Wiggins 1964, Allred and Ivey 2012
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Annual herbs, 3-15 cm tall; stems sparingly branching from the base, spreading-ascending; herbage sparsely strigose with slender white hairs. Leaves: Alternate and upward-pointing, the lower leaves short-petiolate and upper leaves sessile; blades elliptic to oblanceolate, 7-20 mm long and 1-6 mm wide, broadly cuneate at the base and acute to rounded at the tips, the margins entire and tightly revolute; surfaces dark green above, paler below, and sparsely strigose, the midribs with heavier, pustulate hairs. Flowers: White to purple, inconspicuous, and solitary in leaf axils or arranged in leafy-bracteate spikes; sepals ovate-lanceolate, unequal, to 1.5 mm long, strigose and somewhat pustulate; corollas campanulate, 1-2 mm long and 2-4 mm wide, mostly included within the calyx, and covered by finely stiff hairs. Fruits: Nutlets depressed-globose, brownish, 1-2 mm high, rounded on the back, puberulent with fine white hairs, the lateral faces each bearing a pit. Ecology: Found on dry, sandy and gravelly soils, along streams and on grassy slopes, hillsides, and valley bottoms, from 4,000-5,000 ft (1219-1524 m); flowers July-November. Distribution: s AZ, s NM; south through MEX and C. Amer. to S. Amer. Notes: Look for this species under Heliotropium phyllostachyum in older texts. It is a tropical species which creeps into Arizona as far north as the Sierra Ancha Mountains, and is known in New Mexico only from Luna County (west of Las Cruces). Look for an often tiny, sparsely hairy annual herb, the ascending stems lined with small oval-shaped leaves which often point upward, and small white flowers in the leaf axils with funnel-shaped corollas that barely peek out beyond the sepals. Ethnobotany: Unknown Synonyms: Heliotropium phyllostachyum and many others, see Tropicos Editor: LCrumbacher 2011, AHazelton 2015 Etymology: Heilotropium is from the Greek helios, "sun," and trope, "turning," thus meaning "sun-turning," either a reference to the summer solstice when the first described species bloomed, or to the turning of flowers toward the sun, a characteristic of many species known as heliotropism; fruticosum comes from the Latin frutex, "a shrub," therefore, shrubby, bushy.
Heliotropium fruticosum image
© Heike Vibrans  
Heliotropium fruticosum image
© Heike Vibrans  
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Sue Carnahan  
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Sue Carnahan  
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
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Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
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Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image
Heliotropium fruticosum image