[ hee-lee-ə-TRAHP-ik ]
Part of speech: adjective
Origin: Greek, 19th century
Exhibiting the property of some plants of turning under the influence of light.
Examples of Heliotropic in a sentence
" When recorded in slow motion, many plants can be seen making a heliotropic turn every morning when the sun comes up. "
" The sunbathers continually readjusted themselves in a heliotropic route around the pool. "
Popularity Over Time
“Heliotropic” was formed by combining the ancient Greek “ἥλιος” (“hḗlios,” meaning “sun”) and “τρόπος” (“trópos,” meaning “a turn”).
Did you Know?
A heliotropic plant follows the sun throughout the course of its daily cycle. The sunflower is the best-known heliotropic plant, as it follows the sun from east to west over the course of the day, before turning toward the east again overnight to prepare for the next day’s dawn. Many other plants and flowers engage in similar heliotropic movements. By the late 19th century, researchers were discovering that these plants responded to light in any form, not just solar light. As a result, “heliotropic” is often replaced with the term “phototropic.”