Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I discovered heliotrope when we lived in Ecuador. A small plant purchased for my garden turned into a massive shrub that grew over 5 feet tall. I clipped it back regularly and was rewarded by continual deep purple blooms and the delicious fragrance of vanilla and baby powder wafting in our bedroom window.

Heliotrope is an old plant, common to gardens of years gone by. It went out of vogue for some time, and is now back. It's easy to grow in a container and here in the northern hemisphere is an annual. Its tender leaves can't take the cold. Heliotrope was also known as turnsole, for its habit of turning towards the sun, like a sunflower. (This is how it got its name - helio (sun) trope (turning)

This pot sits on my front steps where the morning sun shines and the afternoon is shaded. I love catching a whiff of it as I walk in and out of the house. Wayne Winterrowd, a garden author wrote that heliotrope gives "the impression...of a perfume bottle unstopped."


  1. Looks and sounds lovely!
    I´ve been on the lookout for a Heliotrope, I´ve heard so many say how wonderful the scent is. But I have had no success yet so far. But, one day, one day...

  2. Oh Lorie, the Heliotrope is beautiful! Interesting and fascinating little plant! Thanks for sharing! I will be on the look out too!


  3. I had Heliotrope - aka 'Cherry Pie' in my previous garden and loved it!!

  4. I didn't know about the wonderful scent of Heliotrope until this year - unbelievable! Judy from My Front Porch introduced me to this fragrant flower and now I have it at the front and back of our house.

  5. That is one of my favorites! What a fragrance.. you can hardly get enough of a whiff to satisfy!

  6. I shall look out for one - I adore scented plants. Thanks for the suggestion!

  7. What a pretty plant and a great post on it. I'll have to be on the lookout for some for my garden. Thanks.


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