Heliotrope Drive

Heliotrope is both a gemstone (also called bloodstone) and a flowering plant. In the case of Heliotrope Drive – named in 1906 on the Windermere Park tract, south of Melrose – we know that the plant is the inspiration because two other streets on the tract were named after such: Wisteria Drive and Verbena Drive (since renamed Alexandria Avenue and Berendo Street, respectively). The word “heliotrope” comes from the Greek for “turned towards the sun”. Although there is some variety in color, heliotrope flowers are typically purplish – like wisteria and verbena. Those other two streets lost their names so that their routes would no longer change identities every few blocks: today’s Berendo, for example, consisted of seven separate segments with seven different names until 1912.