Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Scorpion Tail (Heliotrope)

Heliotropium angiospermum


Low growing plant with very small inflorescence of white flowers with yellow centers that unfurl like a fern leaf. This plant is native of the US and Mexico and is found down through Brazil in tropical climates. It is known as "Rabo de Alacrán" (meaning Scorpion's Tail in spanish) and is also called the Butterfly Heliotrope for the number of butterflies that are attracted to the flowers. It has many many names in the numerous indigenous languages of Mexico (see reference). For example; "ta ulu'um ma'ax" in Maya. Family Boraginaceae.


Growing low on the ground among many plants between the highway and the Laguna Silvituc.

Notes: and

1 Species ID Suggestions

Indian Heliotrope
Heliotropium indicum Heliotropium indicum

Sign in to suggest organism ID


SukanyaDatta 6 years ago

Scorpion's tail is an apt name...we call ours Hathi Shur or Elephant's trunk. That's pretty descriptive of the way the frond curls :)

Rahul Upadhyay
Rahul Upadhyay 6 years ago

Happy to be of help, LaurenZarante :)

LaurenZarate 6 years ago

Thank you Sukanya and Rahul, it is so much fun to find out what is known about something that seemed so new and unusual to me. Now it feels like an old friend! Thank you for your comment venusflytrap :)

Rahul Upadhyay
Rahul Upadhyay 6 years ago

You are welcome @SukanyaDatta :)

CalebSteindel 6 years ago


SukanyaDatta 6 years ago

But Heliotropium...I usually falter at species level !!!! Thanks Rahul, for the correction.

Rahul Upadhyay
Rahul Upadhyay 6 years ago

The Indian species lacks the prominent yellow colouration and glossy leaves. The genus is very diverse. Maybe H. angiospermum. :)

SukanyaDatta 6 years ago
You can see a butterfly perched on the Indian Heliotrope in this spotting.

Spotted by

Campeche, Mexico

Spotted on Feb 18, 2015
Submitted on Mar 11, 2015

Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team