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Seaside Heliotrope
Heliotropium curassavicum
About Seaside Heliotrope (Heliotropium curassavicum) Nurseries Show All Photos Heliotropium curassavicum is a species of heliotrope that is native to much of the Americas, from Canada to Argentina, and can be found on other continents as an introduced species. It is known by several common names, such as seaside heliotrope, salt heliotrope, monkey tail, quail plant and "Chinese parsley" (although this last name is also used for coriander). in Latin American Spanish it is known as cola de mico or cola de gama. It thrives in salty soils, such as beach sand and alkali flats, but is highly polymorphic with many ecological and geographical variants. This is a perennial herb which can take the form of a prostrate creeper along the ground to a somewhat erect shrub approaching 0. 5 m (1. 6 ft) in height. The stem and foliage are fleshy, with the leaves thick and oval or spade-shaped. The plentiful inflorescences are curled, coiling double rows of small bell-shaped flowers. Each flower is white with five rounded lobes and a purple or yellow throat. The fruit is a smooth nutlet.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
1.2 - 1.6 ft (0.37 - 0.49 m)


Growth Rate

Flower Color
Blue, Lavender, White

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting

Elevation ?
-232' - 7497'

Annual Precip. ?
2.3" - 57.8"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 2.58"

Coldest Month ?
29.4° F - 61.4° F

Hottest Month ?
57.6° F - 90.6° F

Humidity ?
0.37 vpd - 48.82 vpd

Soil Description
Grows in many soil types, often in saline or alkaline soils.

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Monkey Tail, Quail Plant, Salt Heliotrope

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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