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Heliotropium angiospermum

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also butterfly gardens.

Ecological Restoration Notes: An occasional and somewhat weedy understory herb in coastal hammocks and thickets.

Availability: Native plant nurseries in south and central Florida. Available in Lake Worth at Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296).

Description: Medium, short-lived herbaceous shrub-like wildflower.

Dimensions: Typically 1-3 feet in height. Usually taller than broad, but sometimes spreading or falling over and broader than tall.

Growth Rate: Fast.

Range: Monroe County Keys north mostly along the coasts to Volusia, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties; southern Texas, West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Hammocks and disturbed sites.

Soils: Moist, well-drained to moderately well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.

Salt Water Tolerance: Moderate; tolerates brackish water or occasional inundation by salt water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.

Drought Tolerance: Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.

Light Requirements: Light shade to full sun.

Flower Color: White.

Flower Characteristics: Showy.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: Inconspicuous aggregate of 4 nutlets.

Wildlife and Ecology: Nectar plant for Bahamian swallowtail (Heraclides andraemon), cassius blue (Leptotes cassius), Florida white (Appias drusilla), gray hairstreak (Strymon melinus), great southern white (Ascia monuste), gulf fritillary (Agraulis vanilla), Miami blue (Cyclargus thomasi bethunebakeri), queen (Danaus gilippus), rudy daggerwing (Marpesia petreus), Schaus' swallowtail (Heraclides aristodemus) and other butterflies.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.

References: A Gardner's Guide to Florida's Native Plants

Comments: Recruits readily from seed in the garden, but rarely becomes a weed. See also the Florida Wildflower Foundation's Flower Friday page.

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: CJ McCartney, 2021. Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak on scorpionstail.

Copyright by: Jay Horn via iNaturalist

Other data on Heliotropium angiospermum available from:

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