A flowering beautiful Helitropium bacciferum

Desert Gift -Heliotropium bacciferum 

The points I noted about the Helitrope

  • Botanical name: Heliotropium bacciferum
  • English: Helitrope, Turnsole
  • Arabic name: Ramram, رمرام,  ذنب العقرب
  • Pashtu name: پتنګانو مور (Mother of butterflies as it is flowing round the year)
  • Region of documentation: United Arab Emirates
  • Type of flora: Bush/shrub
  • Found in Arabian Peninsula, ME, Persia and parts of South Asia
  • Qualitative documentation based on personal experience and traditional knowledge: Highly tolerant to drought, salts (xerophyte & halophyte), soaring sun, pests, diseases and desert storm. Attract insects, flies and other wildlife by the attraction of white flowers. The camels run to the plant to eat for its high salts contents. The camel keepers like to feed the camels before racing.
  • Covered with white hairs, leaves dark green
  • Flowers in dense double rows (without fragrance)
  • Fruit appearing as a round whiteberry
  • Flowering practically throughout the year.
  • Common Name: Turnsole, Heliotrope

The shrub has some herbal and medicinal values and the desert dwellers had been using it for different health ailments. I would certainly keep struggling on the documentation of the traditional knowledge about the shrub but I have found very good reference (scientific) from literature which tell about the antioxidant value and anti-cancer agent. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29430949/


The shrub is a key flora of the desert, an option hope for the desert revitalization and enriching drylands with the dark green flora. It guarantees food for the livestock, animals and wildlife in the desert ecosystems. It can be a very good and round the year flowering flora for the lawns in the urban areas. The herbal value can be a pharmacy in the future. The traditional practitioners recommend it feeding the camels before work or race. Please help me in identifying (further details, especially native traditional knowledge) and supporting my research work as it is for the wellbeing of desert, livestock, and humanity. Though I have found some information from native ethnoecologists and google but I still need help to sort it out. https://arkbiodiv.com/2021/12/15/please-help-taxonomic-identification-of-the-deserts-shrub/

8 thoughts on “Desert Gift -Heliotropium bacciferum ”

  1. This is a very good way to develop the whole book by writing the chapters as part of your blog. I love the title The Gift of the Desert!

    Also, it could be edited more easily than the whole book would be.


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