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Genus Heliotropium Family Boraginaceae

Synonyms: Euploca APNI*

Description: Annual or perennial herbs, glabrous or hairy.

Leaves alternate, sessile or petiolate.

Inflorescence terminal, cymes with or without bracts; flowers sessile or pedicellate. Sepals 5, usually fused only at the very base. Corolla actinomorphic, ± cylindrical with spreading lobes, 5-lobed. Stamens included; anthers subsessile, often mucronate or acuminate with the tips free or cohering and sometimes projecting from the tube. Ovary 4-lobed; style short or long with a conical stigma, rarely exceeding the anthers.

Fruit of 4, sometimes fewer, mericarps which fall at maturity.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 300 species, tropical to temperate regions. Australia: c. 78 species (75 species endemic, 3 species naturalised), all mainland States.

Sometimes placed in family Heliotropiaceae.

Text by Peter G. Wilson
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Plant glabrousHeliotropium curassavicum
Plant hairy2
2Corolla throat glabrous3
Corolla throat hairy
                       Back to 1
5
3Sepals fused for much of their lengthHeliotropium supinum
Sepals free for much of their length
                       Back to 2
4
4Leaves with margins undulate and revolute; style longer than the stigmaHeliotropium asperrimum
Leaves with margins not both undulate and revolute; style shorter than the stigma
                       Back to 3
Heliotropium europaeum
5Leaves linear; mericarps 4; flowers white6
Leaves elliptic or lanceolate; mericarps 2; flowers purple
                       Back to 2
Heliotropium amplexicaule
6Hairs on lower surface of leaves spreading to ascendingHeliotropium brachygyne
Hairs on lower surface of leaves appressed
                       Back to 5
Heliotropium moorei

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