Did you know...

  • The name heliotrope comes from ‘helios’ (=sun) and ‘tropein’ (=turning), because the flowers always turn their heads towards the sun. The old English name also carries: ‘turnsole’ (from the French ‘tournesol’).
  • The ingredient heliotropin, also called piperonal or sassafras oil, is very similar to the scent of the actual heliotrope shrub. Heliotropin can be extracted from sassafras (sassafras albidum), among others.
  • Heliotrope is often found first by scent rather than by sight.