This is the profile for the plant – Heliotropium europaeum / Common Heliotrope / Vanilja bajda. Each plant profile in the database contains nomenclature info. Heliotropium europaeum, a dicot, is an annual herb that is not native to California ; it was introduced from elsewhere and naturalized in the wild. Habitat: terrestrial. New England state: Massachusetts. Flower petal color: white. Leaf type: the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into.

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Published date of profile: More support is needed [ read more ] Nomenclature. Veins that run at opposite sides of the common mid-vein and sub-branch towards the outer parts of the leaf. Oval shape, being broadest at the lower third and having rounded ends, hence like the shape of an egg. The flowers are situated nearly at the tip of the coiled part of flowering stem spike.

There are about 3 to 6 tiny flowers open per every spike arranged in paired rows. Every flower is white with a yellow throat and consists of 5 petals forming the shape of a star. At the center there are 5 stamens fused to the inside of the corolla and a central pistil which are barely visible with the naked eye. Ovary situated above the flower parts the calyx, corolla, and androecium.

In other words, these are attached below the ovary. Cylindrical with one end flat and attached in sockets in the receptacle and the apical end being rounded or pointed. They fall from the plant when they are still green, but they may get brown when they dry on the ground. Group of 4 free nutlets partially or fully covered by the calyx. Each nutlet is rather cylindrical with one end flat and attached in sockets in the receptacle and the apical end being rounded or pointed.

A rooting system where there is the main descending root of a plant having a single dominant large structure from which a network of smaller and long roots emerge. Basionym or principal synonyms: No Main Synonyms Full list of synonyms: Upright, vertically straight up well clear off the ground.

Considerable number of secondary branches along the main stem. Covered with soft short hairs often pointing downwards. Growing at different positions along the stem axis. Hanging out by a slender leaf-stalk. Smooth margin without indentations, lobes or any projections. Petals fused together at basal part to form a single flat flower unit. Unbranched, elongated, indeterminate inflorescence with sessile flowers.

YES A fairly unpleasant smell. Pale yellow Anthers are hidden inside the neck-tube of the tiny flowers. Tooth shaped Cylindrical with one end flat and attached in sockets in the receptacle and the apical end being rounded or pointed.

Dark green They fall from the plant when they are still green, but they may get brown when they dry on the ground. Plant description and characters. Uncropped fields, waste ground near arable land and sometimes waysides.

Heliotropium europaeum poisoning in cattle and analysis of its pyrrolizidine alkaloid profile.

The Heliotropium europaeum, is a well branching, erect, annual plant that shows it self in Summer. The plant is covered by numerous tiny, white bristles, mosty found at the stem and flowering parts, that makes It has a silvery-green colour and a slight coarse feeling on rubbing.

The leaves are also covered with few bristles, but these feels soft. The young leaves have an ovoid shape, while the adult, basal ones get a bit longer and so assume a linear-ovoid shape.


Species name :

Leaves have a smooth outline and show pinnate venations more prominent at underside. Leaves measure about mm long and are attached to stem by a relatively long stalk mm long. The flowers are sessile and are arranged heliotorpium a zigzag alternate pairs on suropaeum bractless spike that is coiled at the tip and unwinds while growing up.

The length of spikes vary from 10mm when young up to mm. They look like a green caterpillar and hence one of the common names referred to this plant – “caterpillar weed”. The fruit are found well spaced from each other further down the spike, while at the tip, there are the flowers which are more closely packed to each other. The open flowers 3 to 8 per spike are found at europaeu, coiled tip of the spike, whereas the tip contain buds and developing euripaeum.

Each flower is up to 3mm across, have five white petals in the shape of heliotropiym star with a yellow throat that is green at the very centre. The flower is so small that the female and male reproductive organs are not visible with the naked eye. However each of the tiny flower consists of 5 stamens, joined with the inner wall of the corolla, and a central green pistil.

The flower parts lies above a larger ovary enclosed by 5 free, hairy sepals. The sepals also grasps and holds tight the developing fruit which consists of a group of 4 nutlets. When the nutlets ripen, the sepals gets more loose and the seeds drops to the ground bwithout any special means of disperssion.

The seeds are pear shaped, about 2mm long, and are clustered in tetrads fours – together making a flattened spherical structure collectively referred to a the fruit of the plant. The seeds are not hairy, about mm in size and when ripe they have a dark green colour. However they normally drop off to the ground pre-maturily and further ripens on the ground and becomes black in colour. Information, uses and other details. It was introduced accidentally to South Australia during the 19th century and was first collected in Its presence is therefore usually a clear indication of a prior history of cropping or overgrazing.

The plant is rarely found where perennial grasses still occur. Common heliotrope is of considerable economic importance because it is toxic to sheep, cattle and horses [WWW] Growth Seeds germinate at any time during late spring and summer provided moisture is available. Aerial growth is slow at first, while the long taproot develops. This enables the young seedling to withstand dry periods even shortly after emergence.

Given adequate moisture, growth continues throughout summer and autumn. It has caused poisoning of calves when the plant was ingested from contaminated straw bedding [] and of pigs and poultry when its seeds contaminated stock feed. It is known that Heliotropium europaeum q.

Heliotropium europaeum

They get a disease called the ‘yellows,’ enzootic jaundice or hemolytic jaundice, which is a result of copper toxicosis. Liver tissue damaged by the plant’s hepatotoxic alkaloids e. The liver may accumulate copper at a level of over ppm dry, fat-free basis.

Gastrointestinal symptoms are usually the first sign of intoxication, and consist predominantly of europeaum pain with vomiting and the development of ascites. Death may ensue from 2 weeks to more than 2 years after poisoning, but patients may recover almost completely if the alkaloid intake is discontinued and the liver damage has not heliitropium too severe.

Pyrrilozidine alkaloids are very common in plants used in livestock feeds and in rangeland weeds such as tansy ragwort, Eeuropaeum jacobea, helkotropium Heliotropium spp. Pyrrolozidine alkaloids contain nitrogen in a heterocyclic ring forming a definite structure called the pyrrolizidine nucleus.


It appears that the pyrrilozine alkaloids themselves are not toxic, rather, some of their metabolites, primarily their “pyrrolic” derivatives are highly toxic.

Toxic alcohols can also be produced as secondary metabolites. The common PAs, Heliotrine and lasciocarpine, are partially reduced to the non-toxic 1-methylene and 7-hydroxy-1 methyl derivatives in the rumen.

However, these can be activated by oxidases in the animal’s liver to pyrrolic derivatives and thus have pathological effects in the heart, liver, kidney and respiratory system. The basis for alkaloid regulation and its effects in the ruminal ecosystem are not yet fully understood, but is a well-known fact that its degradation is directly proportional to its concentration in the rumen.

Heliotrine degrading bacteria have been isolated and identified in the rumen. Although these bacteria appear to get very little useful energy from the cleavage of heliotrine, this characteristic may well improve their ability to successfully compete in the rumen of an animal exposed to this type of alkaloid.

The plants involved were species of HeliotropiumTrichodesma, Crotalaria, and Senecio. Another important form of exposure is the use of PA-containing herbs as medicines, food, or beverages; this has resulted in occasional cases of human poisoning.

Symphytum species comfrey are also available in the form of ointments or as digestive aids in the form of capsules. Low-level exposure may occur in some countries through the presence of PAs in foods, such as honey and milk, but no reports of human poisoning caused through these media are available.

There are many interesting documents about pyrrolizidine alkaloid poisoning, and the most important can be found in the Links section at the bottom of this page. Medicinal Properties Since of its poisonous properties, this plant does not have much medicinal or edible uses.

The coiled tip, the europawum bristles and the fruit arranged in pairs makes the spike appear like a a green caterpillar. It is common that the spikes are arranged in triplets.

The flower only measures about mm in diameter. HLTEU Magnified scanned image of 2 hdliotropium Side view The anthers and pistil are short and do not seem to eeuropaeum out from the flower.

They roughly oval in shape and stalked. The most mature fruit are found at the base of the spike. Seeds fall to the ground prematurily and continue to ripen further until they become almost black in colour. Note their rough-textured seed coat.

It was very difficult to get out some pollen from the tiny flowers! Buy Seeds and Docs. Seeds of wild plants for heliotorpium for studies, trials, research, or personal use. Availability depends on season. For these reasons you are kindly requested to first fill and submit a quotation form by which you will get confirmation of the purchase, availability and charges.

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Heliotropium europaeum Calflora

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