Scientific Name:
Heliotropium spp
Toxic Parts:
pyrrolizidine alkaloids
Flower Color:
fields, roadsides, haybales, gardens

Geographical Distribution

Heliotrope distribution - United States


Heliotropium spp

Wild Verbena, Purpletop, Turnsole, Potato weed, Barooga weed, Caterpillar weed, Bishop's beard, Wanderie curse
7/ 10
Heliotrope (Heliotropium europaeum) is an upright, flowering, short-lived annual plant that is native to Europe, Western Asia and northern Africa. It is considered to be an invasive, noxious weed in many areas of the world where it has been introduced, such as western Australia and Tasmania. H. europaeum has course haired stems and leaves. The leaves are oval or egg-shaped, greyish-green and positioned in alternate order. It produces white, tube-shaped flowers that are arranged in two rows along one side of the curved flower spike.

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids
All parts of H. europaeum contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which are known for causing liver damage to poultry if ingested. Generally, the plant is unpalatable to birds, unless they lack sufficient forage to consume.