5. Heliotropium europaeum Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 130. 1753.
天芥菜 tian jie cai
Herbs annual, 20-50 cm tall. Stems erect or ascending, branched from base, strigose or hirtellous. Petiole 1-4 cm; leaf blade elliptic to elliptic-ovate, 1.5-4 × 1-2.5 cm, abaxially gray-green and densely hirtellous, adaxially green and sparsely hirtellous, base widely cuneate to rounded, apex obtuse to acute. Cymes terminal and axillary, scorpioid, simple or dichotomously branched, 2-4 cm. Flowers sessile. Calyx lobes ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 2-3 × 1-1.5 mm, not enlarged in fruit, strigose. Corolla white, 4-5 mm, base 1.5-2 mm wide; throat slightly contracted; limb (2-)3-4 mm wide; lobes rounded, ca. 1.5 mm wide, short strigose outside, glabrous inside. Anthers ovate-oblong, ca. 1 mm, without filaments, attached ca. 1 mm above base of corolla tube. Ovary globose, 0.5-0.7 mm in diam. Style short; stigma long conical, deeply 2-cleft, 1.2-1.5 mm, ringlike portion glabrous, apex short strigose. Fruit 2.5-3 mm in diam.; mericarps ovate, ca. 2 mm, ± distinctly tuberculate, glabrous. Fl. and fr. Jul-Sep. 2n = 24, 32, 48.
Gravelly deserts, river banks, valleys; 100-800 m. Naturalized in W Gansu, Xinjiang [Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Russia; N Africa, SW Asia, S Europe].