1. Family: Boraginaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Heliotropium Tourn. ex L.
      1. Heliotropium chenopodiaceum (DC.) Clos

        This species is accepted, and its native range is N. Chile (to Coquimbo).


    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, prov. Coquimbo, 1939, Gay s.n. (lectotype G-DC [photo F neg. no. 7768: F, GH, NY, US; photo SGO 67285], selected by Miers (1868: 132) and narrowed by Förther (1998: 231); possible isolectotypes BM, F 515900 [fragm.], G, GH, K, LE not seen, P not seen [digital photograph, mixed with Heliotropium myosotifolium, photo MSB]).
    Erect shrubs, 0.2 – 0.8 ( − 1) m tall, with ascending thin and reddish brown branches, densely foliose to the base of the inflorescence
    Stems and foliage glabrous or hirsute, glutinous
    Leaves alternate, solitary or, more frequently, grouped in fascicles of up to 13 leaves, sessile, linear-lanceolate, 2.5 – 12.5 × 0.5 – 2 (− 3) mm; lamina glabrous to hirsute, green or brownish-green, margin entire, revolute, base attenuate, apex acute, with only the main vein conspicuous
    Inflorescences terminal, elongate, dichotomously branched, to c. 5 cm long
    Flowers sessile, alternate, erect, aromatic. Calyx cylindrical, green; calyx lobes linear, glutinous, fused to the half of their length, glabrous or hirsute outside, strigose within, 1 – 3.5 × 0.3 – 1 (− 1.5) mm, free portion 0.2 – 2 mm long, apex acute
    Corolla infundibuliform, sparsely strigose, dull white with yellow throat; limb horizontally spreading, 1.5 – 4.5 (− 5.5) mm wide, lobes rounded; tube longer than the calyx, 2 – 4.5 mm long
    Stamens included or exserted at late anthesis; filaments adnate to petals; anthers oblong-lanceolate, glabrous, base cordate, apex acute, c. 1 mm long, overlapping the stigmatic head
    Ovary glabrous, subglobose, c. 1 mm diam., with a basal nectar ring
    Style glabrous, c. 0.3 – 0.5 mm long, shorter than the stigmatic head
    Stigmatic head conic, elongated, bilobate, c. 1 – 2 × 0.7 mm
    Fruits dry, ellipsoid, dorsally sulcate, glabrous, pale brown to yellow, c. 3 × 2 mm diam., falling apart at maturity into two 2-seeded nutlets, each c. 1.5 × 2 mm diam.
    Pollen prolate, 18 – 21 × 13 – 14 μm Endoapertures 3.5 – 4 μm diam., circular Exine thickness c. 1 μm (from Ricardi & Marticorena 3994 and 4370/955 (as 4730/955) in Marticorena 1968)
    Inland mountains and Andean foothills of the provinces of Chañaral, Copiapó, Huasco (Región de Atacama), Elqui, Limarí and Choapa (Región de Coquimbo), Chile. Together with Heliotropium krauseanum this is the species with the largest geographic range in section Cochranea, between 26°14'S and 31°30'S (Map 10). The northernmost collections cited by Johnston (1928b: 30, 1929: 97) from El Rincón (24°56'S; Johnston 5545) and Panulcito (24°48'S; Johnston 5477), isolated from the rest of the geographic range of the species, were not found at GH, and only one of them (5477) was found at W.
    Rocky hillsides and sandy soils of the Andean Atacama Desert, 200 – 2250 m. Heliotropium chenopodiaceum is usually found in open dwarf scrubs, where it is usually dominant, especially in the northern portion of its distribution, together with Aphyllocladus denticulatus Cabrera, Encelia canescens (both Asteraceae) and Nolana leptophylla (Solanaceae) in the northern part, and with Flourensia thurifera DC. (Asteracae), Opuntia sphaerica C. F. Först. (Cactaceae), Fagonia chilensis Hook. & Arn. (Zygophyllaceae), among others, in the southern part.
    Least concern (LC), see Luebert (2010).

    September to November, but with early (late) rains it can also flower from August (to January).


    The epithet chenopodiaceum refers, according to de Candolle (1845), to its habit, similar to members of the Chenopodiaceae.

    Heliotropium chenopodiaceum is treated here in a broad sense. Reiche (1907, 1910), Johnston (1928b) and Förther (1998) recognised var. ericoideum, which differs from the typical variety in having pubescent leaves. Earlier authors (Miers 1868; Philippi 1895) treated the former variety at the species level. The geographic range of these varieties is similar. Field observations have revealed that individuals with glabrous and pubescent leaves coexist in the same geographic area and even in the same populations, making the taxonomic differentiation of Heliotropium chenopodiaceum var. ericoideum unsustainable under the present taxon concept. All names associated with specimens referable to this species with pubescent leaves have therefore been placed under the synonymy of Heliotropium chenopodiaceum. Förther (1998) considers Bridges 1339 (BM) as the holotype of Cochranea ericoidea. Since Miers (1868) mentions two specimens in his description, the above mentioned material must be considered a lectotype, according to Johnston (1928b).

    Riedemann et al. (2006) suggest its potential use as an ornamental.



    Native to:

    Chile Central, Chile North

    Heliotropium chenopodiaceum (DC.) Clos appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 2008 Gay, C. [s.n.], Chile K000583549 lectotype
    Bridges [1343], Peru K000583543

    First published in C.Gay, Fl. Chil. 4: 458 (1849)

    Accepted by

    • Luebert, F. (2013). A revision of Heliotropium sect. Cochranea (Heliotropiaceae) Kew Bulletin 68: 1-54. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


    Kew Bulletin
    • Förther (1998: 206)
    • Arroyo et al. (1984: 7)
    • Marticorena (1968: 42)
    • Johnston (1928b: 29)
    • Reiche (1907: 2431910: 201)
    • (1849: 458)
    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • 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.


    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. 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 2020. 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