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Pineland heliotrope
Heliotropium polyphyllum
Boraginaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also wildflower and butterfly gardens.
Availability:
Grown by enthusiasts.
Description:
Small wildflower with ascending or spreading stems and attractive yellow or white flowers.
Dimensions:
Typically 3-6 inches in height. Spreading and forming open patches broader than tall.
Growth Rate:
Moderate.
Range:
Florida from the Monroe County Keys north to Panhandle; northern Bahamas. In the Monroe County Keys, apparently disjunct from Miami-Dade County (including Biscayne National Park) to the pine rocklands of Big Pine Key and nearby islands.
Habitats:
Pinelands, prairies and coastal thickets.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, without humus.
Nutritional Requirements:
Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun.
Flower Color:
Yellow or white.
Flower Characteristics:
Semi-showy spike.
Flowering Season:
All year.
Fruit:
Inconspicuous aggregate of 4 nutlets.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Nectar plant for small butterflies.
Comments:
On the east coast of South Florida the flowers are yellow and on the west coast the flowers are white. In the lower Monroe County Keys, the yellow form is known from Big Pine Key and the white form from Cudjoe Key. The use of local material is recommended.


 


Roger L. Hammer
Steven W. Woodmansee
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton