Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Clasping Heliotrope - Heliotropium amplexicaule   Vahl
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Section 6 » Order Lamiales » Family Heliotropiaceae
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AuthorVahl
DistributionMostly in the southern Coastal Plain; also in 4 Piedmont counties. First collected in 1935 in Brunswick County.

Native of South America; in N.A. MA to OH and MO, south to FL and TX; also CA.
AbundanceInfrequent to fairly common in the southeastern counties, though collections post-1990 are rare. Rare farther northward and into the southeastern Piedmont.
HabitatSandy roadsides,railroad yard, vacant lot, sandhill, waste ground at waterfront, creek bank.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting March-September.
IdentificationHeliotropes formerly were included within the Borage (Boraginaceae) family, largely due to the coiled racemes of flowers. Clasping Heliotrope is a misnomer, as the leaves do not clasp the stem; rather, they are lance-shaped with a short basal taper to a sessile base. The rather small flowers on the coiled flowering stalks are lavender to blue-violet.
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