Although native to southern Asia, Indian heliotrope (Heliotropium indicum, Boraginaceae) has been spread by human activity throughout the tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. Long ago it was introduced to the southeastern United States, and today it thrives in this warm and wet climate. It’s relatively common along rivers, open wetlands, and disturbed areas like trails, roads, and clearings.
This annual features hairy stems and wrinkled, ovate leaves. Tiny flowers can appear from summer until well into autumn. They grow on long, narrow, and curling inflorescences that look sort of like octopus tentacles. The flowers can appear white, pink, or purple, with a pale purple perhaps being most common.