Brittan Brooker

Brittan Brooker

Published: 30 Aug 2023


Heliotrope, also known as the turnsole plant, is an enchanting and versatile flowering plant that has captured the hearts of gardeners and enthusiasts alike. With its vibrant and fragrant blooms, heliotrope is a true showstopper in any garden or floral arrangement. But did you know that there’s more to this plant than meets the eye?

In this article, we will delve into the world of heliotrope and uncover 14 astounding facts that will pique your curiosity and deepen your appreciation for this remarkable plant. From its historical significance to its medicinal properties, heliotrope has a fascinating story to tell. Whether you’re a novice gardener or a seasoned plantsman, prepare to be amazed by the wonders of heliotrope!

Table of Contents

Heliotrope is a member of the borage family.

Belonging to the Boraginaceae family, heliotrope shares its botanical lineage with other well-known plants like forget-me-nots and comfrey.

The name “heliotrope” is derived from Greek words.

The term “heliotrope” originates from the Greek words “helios” meaning sun and “tropos” meaning turn. This name refers to the plant’s tendency to turn its flowers towards the sun.

Heliotrope is native to Peru.

Originally found in the Andean region of Peru, heliotrope has now spread to various parts of the world due to its popularity as an ornamental plant.

It is renowned for its sweet fragrance.

The flowers of heliotrope emit a delightful fragrance reminiscent of cherry pie, earning it the nickname “cherry pie plant.”

Heliotrope flowers come in various colors.

From shades of purple and blue to pink and white, heliotrope displays a wide range of colors, adding a burst of vibrancy to any garden or landscape.

The flowers attract butterflies and bees.

The sweet scent of heliotrope flowers lures butterflies and bees, making it a haven for pollinators and aiding in the process of pollination.

Heliotrope thrives in full sun or partial shade.

For optimal growth, heliotrope requires ample sunlight but can also tolerate some shade, making it a versatile choice for various garden settings.

It is a perennial plant.

Heliotrope is a long-lived perennial, meaning it will continue to blossom year after year with proper care and maintenance.

The leaves of heliotrope are velvety and elliptical in shape.

The velvety leaves of heliotrope are oval or elliptical in shape, adding texture and visual interest to its overall appearance.

Heliotrope is drought-tolerant.

Due to its ability to withstand periods of drought, heliotrope is a resilient plant that can thrive even in dry conditions.

It is often used in perfumery.

The sweet fragrance of heliotrope flowers makes it a popular choice for perfumes, adding a delightful scent to many fragrance blends.

Heliotrope symbolizes devotion and eternal love.

In the language of flowers, heliotrope is associated with deep devotion and eternal love, making it a meaningful gift for loved ones.

Some varieties of heliotrope are toxic to animals.

While heliotrope is generally safe for humans, certain varieties contain alkaloids that can be toxic to pets if ingested. It is important to keep this in mind when growing heliotrope around animals.

Heliotrope is easy to cultivate.

Even novice gardeners can enjoy the beauty of heliotrope, as it is relatively easy to grow and requires minimal maintenance, making it a perfect addition to any garden.

As you can see, heliotrope is truly a remarkable plant with its vibrant colors, sweet fragrance, and fascinating characteristics. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a nature enthusiast, this stunning flower is sure to captivate your senses.


In conclusion, heliotrope is a fascinating plant with a rich history and numerous incredible attributes. From its unique ability to track the movement of the sun to its enchanting fragrance and diverse range of colors, heliotrope continues to captivate garden enthusiasts and plant lovers alike. Its medicinal properties and role in attracting beneficial insects further add to its appeal. Whether you’re looking to add a splash of color to your garden or harness the healing powers of nature, heliotrope is undoubtedly a noteworthy choice. With its astounding facts and exceptional characteristics, it’s no wonder that heliotrope remains a popular plant among avid gardeners and plant enthusiasts around the world.


Q: What is heliotrope?

A: Heliotrope, also known as cherry pie plant or turnsole, is a flowering plant species belonging to the Boraginaceae family. It is characterized by its clusters of small, fragrant flowers and its ability to turn towards the sun.

Q: Where does heliotrope grow?

A: Heliotrope is native to Peru and is commonly found in subtropical and tropical regions. It can be grown in containers or directly in the ground, preferring well-draining soil and full sun.

Q: What colors do heliotrope flowers come in?

A: Heliotrope flowers come in a range of colors, including purple, blue, white, and pink. Some varieties may have bi-color blooms.

Q: Can heliotrope be grown indoors?

A: Yes, heliotrope can be grown indoors. Proper light conditions and well-draining soil are crucial for its successful growth indoors. It is recommended to place it near a sunny window to ensure it receives sufficient sunlight.

Q: Does heliotrope have any medicinal properties?

A: Yes, heliotrope has been historically recognized for its medicinal properties. It has been used to treat respiratory conditions, skin irritations, and as a diuretic. However, it is important to note that certain parts of the plant can be toxic if ingested, so caution should be exercised.

Q: Does heliotrope attract beneficial insects?

A: Yes, heliotrope flowers are known to attract beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies. These insects play a crucial role in pollination and maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

Q: How often should heliotrope be watered?

A: Heliotrope prefers moderate watering. It is important to allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings to prevent overwatering, which can lead to root rot.

Q: How can I propagate heliotrope?

A: Heliotrope can be propagated through stem cuttings. Take a 4-6 inch cutting from a healthy plant, remove the lower leaves, and place the cutting in a well-draining potting mix. Keep the soil lightly moist until roots develop.