A Tail of 2 Scorpions


Two plants commonly called scorpion tails grow in the coastal areas of Florida. Members of the forget-me-not family (Boraginaceae), the plants have an inflorescence with 2 rows of tiny white flowers that are said to resemble the tail of scorpion. Both plants attract pollinators, especially small butterflies and moths.

The scorpion tail pictured above is Heliotropium angiospermum. This plant, according to herbarium records, grows only in Florida and Texas. In partial shade, this species can grow to be more than five-feet tall. In full sun, the strongly-veined leaves of this scorpion tail crinkle more …

By contract, the leaves of seaside scorpion tail or salt scorpion (Heliotropium curassavicum) are smooth and succulent …

With its succulent leaves, this plant is very salt-tolerant and drought-tolerant. It is shown below growing on a mosquito control dike at the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge …

This species makes a great groundcover and will not grow into a woody shrub. At the Brevard Maritime Hammock Sanctuary, it flourishes even when mowed…

Both of these plants are drought tolerant and with their interesting bright white flowers would make a delightful, pollinator-attracting addition to your yard.

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