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Heliotropium curassavicum L.
Salt Heliotrope, Seaside Heliotrope, Quail Plant, Cola De Mico, Cola De Gama
Boraginaceae (Borage Family)
USDA Symbol: HECU3
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), HI (N), PR (N), VI (N), CAN (N)
A fleshy, bluish-green, smooth plant with leafy stems often lying on the ground, usually with paired coils of small, white or purplish-tinged flowers with yellow centers.
This plant is also found in Mexico and South America. In some parts of the West this species is called Quail Plant after the birds that feed on its fruit. The Spanish name, Cola de Mico, meaning "monkey tail," describes the coiled flower cluster.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual
Size Notes: Up to about 20 inches tall.
Flower: Flowers 1/4 inch
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , DE , FL , GA , HI , ID , IL , KS , LA , MD , ME , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OK , OR , PA , SC , SD , TX , UT , VA , WA , WY
Canada: AB , SK
Native Distribution: North America, Central America, and South America, from central Canada south through the US to Mexico and Central America and then south as far as Argentina
Native Habitat: Stream/river banks, Near lakes or ponds, Dunes
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Sandy, Gravelly
BenefitUse Ornamental: Rock gardens, Rocky hillside, Desert landscape
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
National Butterfly Center - Mission, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 765 - McMillen's Texas Gardening: Wildflowers (1998) Howard, D.
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Research LiteratureReslit 1669 - Physiological adaptation and plasticity to water stress of coastal and desert populations of Heliotropium curassavicum L. (1982) J. Roy and H. A. Mooney
Reslit 1710 - Photosynthetic plasticity of populations of Heliotropium curassavicum L. originating from differing thermal regimes (1980) H. A. Mooney
Reslit 1782 - Trade-off between sexual and vegetative reproduction of the weedy Heliotropium curassavicum (1994) A. K. Hegazy
Reslit 1817 - Effects of fire on the structure and diversity of a Spartina argentinensis tall grassland (2005) S. R. Feldman and J. P. Lewis
Reslit 1972 - Contrasting Morphological and Physiological Traits of Heliotropium curassavicum L. Plants from Desert and Coastal Populations (1987) J. Roy and H. A. Mooney
Reslit 2072 - Perspectives on the biology of Heliotropium curassavicum in the Deltaic Mediterranean coast of Egypt (1994) A. K. Hegazy, M. I. Soliman and I. A. Mashaly
Reslit 2114 - Taxonomy of the genus Heliotropium L. (Heliotropiaceae) in Brazil (2008) J. I. M. de Melo and J. Semir
This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Heliotropium curassavicum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Heliotropium curassavicum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Heliotropium curassavicum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-13
Research By: TWC Staff