Heliotropium arborescens

Common Name – Heliotropium arborescens (Heliotrope, Cherry pie)

Plant Identification

Genus: Heliotropium
Family: Boraginaceae
Species: H. arborescens
Plant type: Broadleaf evergreen
Note: Heliotropium arborescens is a highly fragrant perennial plant, originally from Peru. It is especially notable for its intense vanilla-like fragrance. Common names include cherry pie and “common heliotrope”.

During the Victorian era in England this plant gained great recognition, often appearing in gardens and the herbaceous borders of parks. Its popularity may have become less in more modern times, but hardy and colourful varieties, such as ‘Princess Marina’, have ensured that this plant still regularly appears in garden centres. Other popular varieties include, ‘Mary Fox’, the highly scented ‘White Lady’ or ‘White Queen’ and a taller variety ‘Florence Nightingale’.

Plant Images

Heliotropium arborescens

Heliotropium arborescens

Heliotropium arborescens

Heliotropium arborescens

Heliotropium arborescens

26 December addition

Plant Descriptions

Fruit / flower:
Flowering time:
Flower size: Features sweetly fragrant, tiny violet flowers in large showy clusters which bloom summer to fall.
Fragrance: Vanilla frangrance.
Height: 1 – 1.5 feet tall
Width: spread 1 – 1.5 feet
Foliage description: Rough, oval, dark green leaves (to 3” long) which are prominently veined.
Foliage colour: Dark green

Plant Requirements

Light preference:Full sun to partial shade
Watering: Medium
Soil requirements: Moist but well-drained soil.

Other Information

Insects: No serious insect problems. Watch for whiteflies, spider mites, aphids and mealybugs
Diseases: None
Propogation: From seed.
Other notes: Ideal as bedding plants or edging plants. In containers as rounded shrubs or trained as a standard. Also work well in hanging baskets and window boxes.

About the author: Christine

Dominated by large trees on a medium sized property, my garden is very shaded. With no “full sun” areas I have to plant shade and partial shade loving plants. I love shrubs and flowers including camellias and azaleas but Roses and Irises are my favourite and getting these to thrive is a challenge …

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