Plant Listings

Heliotropium angiospermum

Common Names: Sore-Bush, Scorpion Tail, Rooster Comb, Cat Tongue, Bright Eye bush

Family: Boraginaceae

Habit: Heliotropium angiospermum grows as an herbaceous annual or perennial to 1 meter in height. The vegetation has hispid pubescence.  The leaves are arranged alternately and may be covered with warts filled with calcium carbonate. The leaves are ovate to lanceolate with an acute leaf apex and dentate leaf margin with deep showy veins.

The slightly zygomorphic flowers are arranged in 2 rows along the rachis of the terminal, scorpoid cymes. The calyx has 5 unfused green petals. The corolla has 5 fused white petals with a yellow center, with one lobe slight larger than the others.  There are 5 stamens fused to the base of the corolla.  The ovary is superior with 4 locules. The fruit is a capsule.

Habitat: Heliotropium angiospermum grows in human disturbed areas, open flats and the edges of Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations (coppice).

Distribution in Bahamas/Globally: Heliotropium angiospermum occurs on all islands in the Bahamian Archipelago as well as the entire New World tropical and subtropical zones.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Heliotropium angiospermum is used in the Bahamas to treat dermatological problems (itches, stings), wounds (sores and cuts), infant issues (colic) and strains.

In the Turks and Caicos it is used to treat conjunctivitis.


www.bnt.bs