Heliotrope ‘Lord Roberts’ is an evergreen shrub, except in very cold regions where it may be treated as an annual plant. It reaches from 60cm to 1meter high and up to 1 meter wide in good conditions. The large, dark purple toned leaves are rugose, deeply textured and oval to elliptical in shape. The flowers are deep purple and are on display for much of the year. They have a pleasing fragrance, which is especially noticeable at night.
Heliotrope ‘Lord Robert’ has the botanical designation Heliotropium X hybridum, although it may be recorded as a variety of Heliotropium arborescens. It has more compact growth form than the branching character of Heliotrope arborescens and usually a deeper flower colour. Despite this, it is still a good plant for trailing over walls and along the ground. The Heliotropium genus of plants is a member of the Borage family and has up to 250 species, with many varieties spread across the globe. H. arborescens, the parent plant of ‘Lord Robert’ has its origins in Peru, where it grows in a wide range of habitats. All species are highly fragrant and good butterfly attractants.
Heliotrope’ Lord Robert’ prefers full sun to part shade with fertile, well-drained soil. Regular water is a necessity, but damp ground or heavy clay is not tolerated very well. Overwatering may result in black coloured leaves. It does not survive very cold temperatures and may either be treated as an annual or kept in containers and over-wintered indoors. ‘Lord Roberts’ is a fast grower and is able to tolerate being cut back by half in order to maintain a compact shape and prevent it from becoming too straggly. New flowers will also be encouraged by occasional trimming. This is an ideal plant for cottage gardens and is an old garden favourite.
Caution: It should be noted that all parts of the plant are toxic to humans and animals. For more information see Heliotrope arborescens ‘Cherry Pie’.
All information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. Please seek professional advice before commencing any treatment.
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