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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 130. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
Contributor Text: YASIN J. NASIR
General/Distribution: A large and complex genus of c. 270-276 species in temperate and tropical regions of both hemispheres.
Comment/Acknowledgements: In Pakistan, the largest of the Boraginaceae genera with 23 species in about 11 sections. Some of the taxa are very variable in their repetitive characters (e.g. Heliotropium bacciferum Forssk., Heliotropium europium L. etc.). The inflorescence, including corolla, style and nutlet characters are important diagnostically. In some related taxa (Heliotropium baluchistanicum, Heliotropium gillianum, Heliotropium cabulicum, Heliotropium biannulatum, Heliotropium ovalifolium, Heliotropium remotiflorum) the corolla is hairy within and differences are based on the size of corolla, corolla lobe and style/stigma length.


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Annual or perennial, prostrate to erect herbs or undershrubs with usually vinous to scabrid indumentum, rarely glabrous. Leaves alternate, entire. Inflorescence usually of terminal or axillary scorpiod cyme. Flowers small, white, bracteate or not. Calyx usually 5-partite into linear or lanceolate lobes, persistent. Corolla 5-lobed, tubular to infundibuliform, hairy on the outside and sometimes variously so within; lobes ± erect or inflexed, obtuse to linear, with dentations or lobed between them or not. Stamens 5, free, included and attached to the corolla tube; anthers elongated, subsessile, sometimes apiculate. Ovary 4-locular or incompletely 2-locular. Style erect. Stigma ± conical or elongated. Stigmatic disc usury present. Fruit comprising of 2-4 nutlets.

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1 Calyx 5-partite. Fruit not completely enclosed in the calyx (2)
+ Calyx shallowly 5-lobed, completely enclosing the fruit 1 Heliotropium supinum
2 (1) Plants vinous to scabrid (3)
+ Plants glabrous 2 Heliotropium curassavicum
3 (2) Stigma solitary, minutely 2-fid or capitate, included (4)
+ Stigmas 2, linear-recurved, exserted 3 Heliotropium ophioglossum
4 (3) Stigma conical, entire or not (5)
+ Stigma capitate, entire 4 Heliotropium rariflorum
5 (4) Flowers bracteate or at least some (6)
+ Flowers ebracteate (8)
6 (5) Prostrate to decumbent herbs. Leaves linear lanceolate to elliptic (7)
+ Effect semi-shrubby herbs. Leaves linear, 25-50 mm long 6 Heliotropium zeylanicum
7 (6) Inflorescence compact, 20-40 mm long. Leaves lanceolate to elliptic. Flowers sessile 7 Heliotropium marifolium
+ Inflorescence t lax, 20-100 mm long. Leaves linear-lanceolate (lower down on the inflorescence) 5 Heliotropium strigosum
8 (5) Corolla lobes obtuse to ovate or caudate (9)
+ Corolla lobes caudate-acuminate 20 Heliotropium subulatum
9 (8) Corolla hairy within (10)
+ Corolla glabrous within (15)
10 (9) Hairs not present in zones (11)
+ Hairs within corolla in two distinct zones 8 Heliotropium baluchistanicum
11 (10) Corolla 4-8 mm long (12)
+ Corolla 2-3 mm long (14)
12 (11) Corolla lobes ± ovate, obtuse. Stigma 0.7-0.8 mm long (13)
+ Corolla lobes linear, inflexed. Stigma 1.5-1.8 mm long 9 Heliotropium gillianum
13 (12) Leaves ovate-lanceolate to lanceolate. Hairs-arising from a swollen base. Inflorescence up to 9 flowered. Corolla uniformly hairy within 10 Heliotropium cabulicum
+ Leaves ovate to ovate-oblong. Hairs without a swollen base. Inflorescence up to 20-flowered. Corolla not uniformly hairy within 11 Heliotropium biannulatum
14 (11) Leaves elliptic to obovate, 10-25 mm long. Flowers close set. Anthers 0.5-0.6 mm long, narrow, attached c. 0.5 mm from corolla base. Stigma 0.4 mm long 12 Heliotropium ovalifolium
+ Leaves ovate, 7-10 mm long. Flowers distantly placed. Anthers c. 1 mm long, ± ovate, attached c. 0.9 mm from corolla base. Stigma 1 mm long 13 Heliotropium remotiflorum
15 (9) Plants annual (16)
+ Plants perennial (18)
16 (15) Corolla lobes ovate to oblong, obtuse (17)
+ Corolla lobes sublinear, inflexed 15 Heliotropium alii
17 (16) Plants green to greenish-grey. Flowers biseriate. Calyx persistent at length 17 Heliotropium europaeum
+ Plants greyish-white. Flowers uniseriate. Calyx deciduous at length 16 Heliotropium calcareum
18 (15) Corolla lobes ovate to oblong, obtuse (19)
+ Corolla lobes sublinear, inflexed (21)
19 (18) Leaves lanceolate to linear-lanceolate. Anthers narrow ovate, 0.8-1 mm long (20)
+ Leaves ovate to oblong-ovate. Anthers oblong, 1.8-2 mm long 14 Heliotropium ulophyllum
20 (19) Plants decumbent to procumbent; stems up to 15 mm thick at base. Leaf margin revolute or indistinctly undulate. Nutlet margin winged 19 Heliotropium bacciferum
+ Plants erect to suberect, stems up to 5 mm thick at base. Leaf margin crisp-undulate. Nutlet margin not-winged 18 Heliotropium crispum
21 (18) Anther connectives produced (22)
+ Anther connectives not produced 23 Heliotropium dasycarpum
22 (21) Sinuses of corolla lobes without dentitions or lobes. Anthers 1.0 mm long 21 Heliotropium aucheri
+ Sinuses of corolla lobes with dentitions or lobes 22 Heliotropium lamondiae

Lower Taxa
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