Heliotropium is a genus of flowering plants in the borage family, Boraginaceae. There are around 325 species in this almost cosmopolitan genus, which are commonly known as heliotropes. It is highly toxic for dogs and cats.
The name "heliotrope" derives from the old idea that the inflorescences of these plants turned their rows of flowers to the sun. Ἥλιος (helios) is Greek for "sun", τρέπειν (trepein) means "to turn". The Middle English name "turnsole" has the same meaning. A Classical myth, told in Ovid's Metamorphoses, imagines that the water nymph Clytie, in love with the sun god Helios, was betrayed by him. Wasting away, she transformed into the heliotrope, whose flowers supposedly always face the sun. Several heliotropes are popular garden plants, most notably garden heliotrope (H. arborescens). Garden heliotrope is grown in Southern Europe as an ingredient for perfume.