En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - April 10, 2006

From: Clearwater, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Propagation
Title: Cultural requirements for Heliotropium angiospermum in Florida
Answered by: Dean Garrett


What are the cultural requirements for Heliotropium angiospermum?


Heliotropium angiospermum, often called Scorpion's' Tail, is a plant that likes disturbed soil and, within its range, is often seen in rocky or sandy areas. Some researchers have found that potted Heliotropium angiospermum does well in compost-rich soil.

It is usually said to prefer sun to part shade and is considered a good native shade plant for Florida. Though it is somewhat drought-tolerant, it may need supplemental water during dry spells.

Its native range reveals that it is not very tolerant of cold. It ranges from northern South America north through the West Indies, Central America, and Mexico to Florida and the southern tip of Texas.

It blooms and produces seeds throughout the year and can expand rapidly under favorable conditions, so much that some gardeners deadhead it to keep it within bounds. Tall grasses, however, may limit its spread. Scorpion's Tails in South Texas have been observed to increase when taller grasses are cleared away.

A South Texas friend of mine found that it transplants easily. He moved one that had come up in a neighbor's rock garden into his prepared garden soil. It adjusted quickly and is now spreading seed and attracting hordes of butterflies. One of its other common names is Butterfly Heliotrope.

Native plant nurseries and native plant societies in your region may be able to give you more information. In addition to checking our National Suppliers Directory, you might also contact the following Florida nursery websites, whose databases indicate that they carry the plant:



More Propagation Questions

Controlling Passionflora Incarnata propagation
March 20, 2012 - Would a cinderblock raised bed, 8 inches in height, be sufficient to contain the roots of passiflora incarnata and keep them from traveling to places where I don't want the vine? Are the roots deepe...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Arisaema dracontium
May 25, 2008 - We are fortunate enough to own an 8-acre drainage next to Bull Creek preserve, and it has several stands of Green Dragon (Arisaema Dracontium) growing in it. How can we propagate this plant and share...
view the full question and answer

Pollination of blackberries in Lake Winnebago, MO
May 27, 2010 - Not sure if blackberries are native, but my daughter got a start of one at a plant exchange at the nature center. Do we need more than one for it to pollinate correctly? We have strawberries growing i...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting a Dutchman's pipe in Beaverton MI
June 10, 2010 - When can I transplant a full grown dutchmans pipe plant? It is growing along side of the house and it needs a bigger place to grow. This is June and the plant is in full bloom full of pipes, but need...
view the full question and answer

Restoring the woods in Central Austin.
May 08, 2012 - I live in Austin, south central between Red Bud trail close to the low water bridge and Bee Caves road. My question: I want to make the wooded sections of my yard attractive. They have filtered sun...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center