Scorpion Tail, Butterfly Heliotrope

Heliotropium angiospermum

Family: Boraginaceae
Genus: Heliotropium (hee-lee-oh-TROH-pee-um) (Info)
Species: angiospermum (an-jee-oh-SPER-mum) (Info)
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Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Blooms all year




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cape Coral, Florida

Cocoa, Florida

Delray Beach, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Miami, Florida (2 reports)

Naples, Florida

Palm Bay, Florida

Placida, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Sorrento, Florida

Harlingen, Texas

Longview, Texas

Plano, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 19, 2015, goofballTex from Plano, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I found this plant as a volunteer in one of my containers that I bought from Austin. I held off on pulling it before I could identify it, as it has lovely flowers. Luckily, it is native to Texas, albeit in the very southernmost few counties. Good enough for me!

The profile for this plant says that it's suitable for xeriscaping, but I have not found this to be true, at least not for the individuals I have. They do require regular watering in the summer heat, especially if they're planted in full sun. Here in Plano, winter temperatures vary pretty widely, and sometimes it gets cold enough to kill it. I keep it in a pot and move it inside during winter. By the time spring comes around, it's got some black leaves, but I trim them off and it bounces right back, no problem. The fl... read more


On Sep 29, 2013, butterflyjoe from Naranja, FL wrote:

I originally started one from a tip cutting in water (about 3") it rooted easily. Since then there is no shortage of them from self seeding. They even pop up in the lawn area, which I dont use weed killer ever, so I just transplant them. They do get legging after a couple of years and dont seem to rebound well from pruning, so I usually replace by then.


On Jun 27, 2011, jameso from Longview, TX wrote:

I'm in my second year with it although they didn't survive the 1st winter here in containers. I re-purchased for my second year and they will be in the ground. I saw many of the smaller butterflies on it. I'll always have this plant in my garden.


On Mar 24, 2011, BBOSSMAN from Placida, FL wrote:

I had noticed a sulpher butterfly using it as a nectar plant, so
I transplanted this plant from another location close to my home in Southwest Florida. If careful not to disturb roots, it will transplant well. It was slow-growing until it was established, then in about 2 years became a spreading bush. Prune back to keep it from spralling. Leaves will turn black if exposed to temperatures in the 30's.


On Mar 28, 2005, artcons from Fort Lauderdale, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I have only had this plant growing for six months. I have it planted on the east side of my Sable Palmento palm in the bed around the palm. It gets partial sun at best this time of the year and good water. It's doing just fine. I have Miami Blue butterflies in my yard and until this week have only seen them feed on Butterfly Needles/Shepherd's Needles (native weeds). Over the weekend I saw the Miami Blues feeding on this Scorpion tail.
The plant is a Florida native.