Heliotrope, A Favorite of Mine
This is the first in a series of highlights of certain plants that have found a place in my heart. The first, heliotrope, is a tender perennial which exudes the most pleasant and restful fragrance. Some call it “Cherry Pie”, maybe because the smell is one of those that gives the same homey, satisfied feeling to the soul. It always cheers me! Perhaps, the old ideas of aromatherapy, a lady with her nosegay, hold some secrets of healing. There certainly is something appealing about a garden filled with lovely scents that soothes the senses, and this flower is one of the supreme examples of a rich and fresh sweetness.
Heliotrope is also a visually beautiful flower. It has deep green corrugated leaves with large sprays of tiny purple flowers, varying slightly with the different named varieties. It grows in a bushy form, and looks good throughout the summer, but at the first touch of frost its life is gone.
Sunshine, rich soil, and moisture are necessary for best results, although like many plants it will survive on less. But since this is a one season plant, with some difficulty in starting from seed, it would be prudent to give it the requirements and then enjoy the beautiful show in return. My best results were from last year: planted in newly dug ground in the east bed with a mulch. The heliotropes in this position produced huge heads of deep purple, lovely with companions of hydrangea behind and a small rose, Seafoam, beside.
In the Language of Flowers, the heliotrope means devotion and
Smelling the fragrance of Heliotrope is said to soothe the nerves.
Heliotrope makes a beautiful addition to a tussy mussy bouquet.