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a. Any of several plants of the genus Heliotropium, especially H. arborescens, native to Peru and having small, highly fragrant purplish flowers. Also called turnsole.
b. The garden heliotrope.
c. Any of various plants that turn toward the sun.
3. A moderate, light, or brilliant violet to moderate or deep reddish purple.

[Middle English elitrope (from Old English eliotropus) and French héliotrope, both from Latin hēliotropium, from Greek hēliotropion : hēlio-, helio- + tropos, turn; see trope.]

he′li·o·trope′ adj.


(ˈhiːlɪəˌtrəʊp; ˈhɛljə-)
1. (Plants) any boraginaceous plant of the genus Heliotropium, esp the South American H. arborescens, cultivated for its small fragrant purple flowers
2. (Plants) garden heliotrope a widely cultivated valerian, Valeriana officinalis, with clusters of small pink, purple, or white flowers
3. (Plants) any of various plants that turn towards the sun
4. (Colours)
a. a bluish-violet to purple colour
b. (as adjective): a heliotrope dress.
5. (Surveying) an instrument used in geodetic surveying employing the sun's rays reflected by a mirror as a signal for the sighting of stations over long distances
6. (Minerals) another name for bloodstone
7. (Jewellery) another name for bloodstone
[C17: from Latin hēliotropium, from Greek hēliotropion, from hēlios sun + trepein to turn]


(ˈhi li əˌtroʊp, ˈhil yə-; esp. Brit. ˈhɛl yə-)

1. any of numerous hairy plants of the genus Heliotropium, of the borage family, esp. H. arborescens, cultivated for its small, fragrant purple flowers.
2. any of various other plants, as the valerian.
3. any plant that turns toward the sun.
4. a light purple color; reddish lavender.
[1580–90; < Middle French héliotrope < Latin hēliotropium < Greek hēliotrópion; see helio-, -trope]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.heliotrope - green chalcedony with red spots that resemble bloodheliotrope - green chalcedony with red spots that resemble blood
calcedony, chalcedony - a milky or greyish translucent to transparent quartz


[ˈhiːlɪətrəup] Nheliotropo m


n (Bot: = colour) → Heliotrop nt
References in classic literature ?
I recognised some euphorbias, with the caustic sugar coming from them; heliotropes, quite incapable of justifying their name, sadly drooped their clusters of flowers, both their colour and perfume half gone.
He could distinguish amid the perfumes of the roses and heliotropes in the flower-stands, the sharp and fragrant odor of volatile salts, and he noticed in one of the chased cups on the mantle-piece the countess's smelling-bottle, taken from its shagreen case, and exclaimed in a tone of uneasiness, as he entered, -- "My dear mother, have you been ill during my absence?"
Behind the chapel extended, surrounded by two high hedges of hazel, elder and white thorn, and a deep ditch, the little inclosure - uncultivated, though gay in its sterility; because the mosses there grew thick, wild heliotrope and ravenelles there mingled perfumes, while from beneath an ancient chestnut issued a crystal spring, a prisoner in its marble cistern, and on the thyme all around alighted thousands of bees from the neighboring plants, whilst chaffinches and redthroats sang cheerfully among the flower-spangled hedges.
It was racy and insolent with heliotrope; he hurled it to the floor.
So Laurie played and Jo listened, with her nose luxuriously buried in heliotrope and tea roses.