Smells like bourbon vanilla. Butterflies love it. An annual that - uncharacteristically - seeded in our yard and came back this spring the brightest purple. The heliotropes (Heliotropium) is a genus of plants in the family Boraginaceae with 250 to 300 species. The name "heliotrope" derives from the fact that they turn their leaves to the sun. Helios is Greek for "sun", tropein means "to turn."