1. Family: Boraginaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Heliotropium Tourn. ex L.
      1. Heliotropium stenophyllum Hook. & Arn.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Chile (Atacama to Valparaíso).


    Luebert, F. 2013. A revision of Heliotropium sect. Cochranea (Heliotropiaceae). Kew Bulletin 68: 1. DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s12225-013-9432-6

    Type: Chile, Región de Coquimbo, Prov. Elqui, Panamericana S of Coquimbo, F. Luebert & C. Becker 2910 (neotype SGO, selected here; isoneotype BSB).
    Erect shrubs, 0.6 – 2 m tall, with ascending branches, densely foliose to the base of the inflorescence
    Stems and foliage finely strigose or glabrous, glutinous
    Leaves alternate, solitary or grouped in fascicles of up to 20 leaves, sessile, linear to linear-spathulate, 9.5 – 35 (− 60) × 0.7 – 3 mm; lamina glabrous or finely strigose, dark green, margin entire, revolute, base attenuate, apex acute or obtuse, with only the main vein conspicuous
    Inflorescences terminal, elongate, dichotomously branched, to c. 5 cm long
    Flowers sessile, alternate, erect, aromatic. Calyx cylindrical, green or greyish-green; calyx lobes linear, fused only at the base or free, glutinous, with ciliated margins, strigose outside, glabrous or strigose within, 1 – 4.5 × 0.5 – 1 mm, free portion 1.5 – 4.5 mm long, apex acute
    Corolla infundibuliform, sparsely strigose, dull white with yellow throat, becoming bluish at late anthesis; limb horizontally spreading, 4.5 – 9 (− 10) mm wide, lobes rounded; tube longer than the calyx, 2.5 – 7.5 mm long
    Stamens included or exserted at late anthesis; filaments adnate to petals; anthers oblong-lanceolate, glabrous, base cordate, apex acute, c. 1.2 – 1.5 mm long, overlapping the stigmatic head
    Ovary glabrous, subglobose, 0.4 – 0.6 mm diam., with a basal nectar ring
    Style glabrous, c. 0.8 – 1.5 mm long, as long as or slightly shorter than the stigmatic head
    Stigmatic head conic, elongated, bilobate, c. 1 – 1.8 × 0.7 mm
    Fruits dry, ellipsoid, rugose, glabrous, light brown or cream, c. 2.5 × 1.5 mm diam., falling apart at maturity into two 2-seeded nutlets, c. 2 × 1.5 mm diam.
    Pollen prolate, 24.5 – 30.5 × 16.5 – 18.5 μm Endoapertures 4 × 5 μm diam., lalongate Exine thickness 1 μm at the mesocolpia and 1.5 μm at the apocolpia (from Ricardi & Marticorena 4332/717 in Marticorena 1968)
    Coastal and inland areas of the provinces of Huasco (Región de Atacama), Elqui, Limarí, Choapa (Región de Coquimbo), Petorca, San Felipe and Quillota (Región de Valparaíso), Chile. It is broadly distributed between 28°28'S and 32°50'S (Map 11). It has been cited for Arica (Jaffuel 12), ‘Conception’ (Caldcleugh s.n.), Valdivia (Bridges 595) and even ‘Perou’ (s. col.), but these localities are all certainly erroneous. The material of Bridges at NY is probably his number 235 from the province of Quillota, whose label could have been confounded with 595. In the catalogues of the plants of Bridges at BM and K, number 595 actually comes from Valdivia, but the species mentioned there is not a Heliotropium but Senecio otites Kunze ex DC. (Hooker & Arnott 1841b).
    Hillsides, usually on dry slopes, and sandy and rocky coastal areas, 5 – 1200 m. On the coast it is usually dominant, together with Oxalis virgosa (Oxalidaceae) (see Weisser & Rundel 1980), while in inland areas it is usually restricted to dry north-facing slopes, where it is sometimes dominant together with Bridgesia incisifolia Bertero ex Cambess. (Sapindaceae) Cordia decandra (Cordiaceae) and Flourensia thurifera (Asteraceae) (Gajardo 1978; Etienne et al. 1982).
    Least concern (LC), see Luebert (2010).

    August to November, but throughout the year provided sufficient moisture (Olivares & Squeo 1999).

    Palo negro, monte negro (Spanish).

    In the work of Förther (1998), Gaudichaud 64 is cited as the type of Heliotropium stenophyllum. This specimen comes from Coquimbo, Chile, the type locality given by Hooker & Arnott (1830), where the species actually grows. Gaudichaud, however, collected at Coquimbo during the expedition of l’Herminie (1831 – 1833) in 1832 (Lasègue 1845), two years after the description of the species. Therefore, this material cannot be part of the type. The specimens upon which the species of the Beechey’s Voyage were described were collected by the naturalists Lay and Collie (Hooker & Arnott 1841a). The type material of H. stenophyllum is not to be found at the Hooker herbarium (now at K), at least since the 1860s (Miers 1868). Both the Arnott herbarium and part of the Hooker herbarium of the Beechey’s voyage are now at E (Stafleu & Cowan 1979). However, according to Noltie (2010), the type specimen of H. stenophyllum should be regarded as missing, as is not to be found at E. A neotype has thus been selected here from modern material coming from the same locality cited by Hooker & Arnott (1830) and agreeing with the protologue and with the way Hooker applied the name to other material in his herbarium, which corresponds to the historical and current application of the name.

    In his description of Heliotropium huascoense, Johnston (1928b) indicated that his new species is closely related to H. stenophyllum, but that it differs from the latter ‘in its narrowly spathulate leaves, smaller corolla, shorter style, as well as more northern range’. Examination of more material reveals that none of these characters is consistent across the geographic range of both species, although the northernmost populations tend to have more spathulate leaves, but as a part of a rather gradual transition than a discrete change. Also, some specimens from the middle of the range of H. stenophyllum (e.g. Luebert & Becker 2918) also have spathulate leaves. Moreover, Johnston (1928b: 34) based his geographical differentiation of H. huascoense partially on the assumption that H. sinuatum, that was mixed in the same sheet of two paratype specimens (Pearce s.n. and Lobb 442, both K) along with material attributed to H. huascoense, does not occur in the region of Coquimbo, from where the mentioned specimens were labelled as coming. Modern material of H. sinuatum show that this assumption is false, and that what could be called H. huascoense occurs in the same geographic range of H. stenophyllum sensu Johnston (1928b). Due to this fact and the failure to consistently differentiate both species, H. huascoense is placed here under the synonymy of H. stenophyllum.

    The epithet stenophyllum refers to its narrow leaves.

    Riedemann & Aldunate (2001) and Riedemann et al. (2006) suggest its potential use as an ornamental. Villarroel et al. (1991) determined antioxidant activity of the resin exudates of Heliotropium stenophyllum. The leaves are locally (Pichasca) used for preparing vaginal washes.


    Native to:

    Chile Central, Chile North

    Heliotropium stenophyllum Hook. & Arn. appears in other Kew resources:

    First published in Bot. Beechey Voy.: 38 (1830)

    Accepted by

    • Luebert, F. (2013). A revision of Heliotropium sect. Cochranea (Heliotropiaceae) Kew Bulletin 68: 1-54. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Zuloaga, F.O., Morrone, O. , Belgrano, M.J., Marticorena, C. & Marchesi, E. (eds.) (2008). Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares del Cono Sur Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 107: 1-3348. Missouri Botanical Garden.


    Kew Bulletin
    • Förther (1998: 220)
    • Marticorena (1968: 47)
    • Johnston (1928b: 33)
    • Reiche (1907: 2411910: 199)
    • Clos in Gay (1849: 456)
    • Steudel (1840: 744)
    • (Hooker & Arnott 1830: 38)
    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Luebert, F. (2013). A revision of Heliotropium sect. Cochranea (Heliotropiaceae) Kew Bulletin 68: 1-54. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Bulletin
    Kew Bulletin

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0