Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Heliotropium arborescens ‘Triomphe de Liege’

See Heliotropium arborescens L. for details of the species.  ‘Triomphe de Liege’ was offered for sale by Mary Conway, of Earl’s Court nursery, Old Brompton, in the pages of The Gardeners Chronicle.  [Gard. Chron. 1850].  ‘Triomph de Leigh’ has immense heads of white flowers, and, grown in a sandy loam and vegeatable mould, blooms very freely.’  [FC p.131/1850].  It seems likely that ‘Leigh’ is a misspelling of ‘Liege’.  


Horticultural & Botanical History

Numerous hybrids and cultivars of Heliotropium arborescens are used for summer bedding.  ‘[Heliotropes] owing to their agreeable fragrance and cheerful-looking flowers, are always especial favourites in the flower garden, and when successfully cultivated in pots they are very ornamental in a greenhouse. The only fault belonging to them as bedding plants is their being so tender as to be often destroyed by frost early in the season not withstanding this, however, they must still be cultivated more especially as the varieties have become so greatly improved of late, both in habit of growth and richness of colour.’  [Gard. Chron. 1854].  The variety ‘Souvenir de Liege’ attracted much attention in the pages of The Gardeners Chronicle in the late 1840s and 50s.  Of particular interest is this advertsisement from Hugh Law and Co. of Clapton: ‘This fine new variety, now for the first time offered in this country, possesses the great advantage of flowering naturally very early, and also continuing in perfection for a much greater length of time.  [The] individual flowers, as also the truss, are very large and highly fragrant; colour pure violet with a yellowish tinge towards the centre.  The habit of this plant is very dwarf and compact.’  This is presumably a cultivar of the same ‘family’ as ‘Triomphe de Liege’.  [GC p.209/1849].


History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues as Heliotropium species.  A handwritten note in an 1850 catalogue in the Mitchell Library collection identifies this plant as ‘Triomphe de Liege’.  [MP A2947A].  Mixed Heliotrope seed was also ordered from Hurst and McMullen, Seedsmen and Florists of London, on 8th April 1846.  [MP A2933-1, p.132].



Published Feb 02, 2009 - 04:59 PM | Last updated Oct 20, 2011 - 05:12 PM

Family Boraginaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, probably Belgium

Common Name

Heliotrope, Cherry Pie

Name in the Camden Park Record

Heliotropium species 


Confidence level high