Heliotrope: pest

Page last updated: Monday, 6 July 2020 - 10:09am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Heliotrope (Heliotropium europaeum) is a common summer weed in the southwest of Western Australia (WA). This article describes the nature of the plant with links to pest control methods.

Form: herbaceous — annual

Status: present in WA


Hairy summer-growing annual herb 10–50 centimetres high, native of southern and central Europe, western Asia and north Africa. Crushed plants have an unpleasant 'mousey' odour. Reproduces by seed.

Stems: Grey-green covered with short white hairs.

Leaves: Grey-green, alternate, elliptical 1.5–9 centimetres long, one to three centimetres wide, densely covered with hairs. Underside of leaf is paler and has prominent veins.

Flowers: Small, white with yellow throat, tubular two to three millimetres long, three to six millimetres diameter when open, hairy outside, but hairless inside the flower tube. Flowers crowded into two rows on one side of the flowering stalk, five to seven centimetres long, that arises singly or in pairs at the end of branches.

Fruit: Group of four brown nutlets, wrinkled in appearance, held within the calyx.

Seed: Brown to black.

Agricultural and economic impact

Pasture weed, predisposes stock to chronic copper poisoning.

Legal status

The Western Australian Organism List (WAOL) contains information on the legal status of this pest in Western Australia (WA). Search for heliotrope in WAOL using the scientific name Heliotropium europaeum.

Search > detect > report

MyPestGuide™ Reporter
via app or online
(Select 'Send report to MyWeedWatcher' from menu)

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080

Control method

When using any agricultural chemicals please ensure that you always follow instructions on the label and any permit. Users of agricultural chemical products must always strictly comply with the directions on the label and the conditions of any permit.

Only registered products can be used for weed and pest control.

Control methods for this plant can be found through the APVMA website, use "heliotrope" as the pest name.

Contact information

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080
Technical support - MyPestGuide™