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Turtlehead Chelone lyonii

Phonetic Spelling
kay-LOH-nee ly-ON-ee-eye
Description

Pink Turtlehead is a native wildflower with a very tidy clumping habit. It is in the figwort family and It is found in rich, moist soils in sun to part shade in wet woods and along streams in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Even though it's native range is small it is adaptable to home gardens and has naturalized in other areas.

It does best in cool climate summers in part shade with protection from the hot afternoon sun. The more shade it is grown in the more likely it will need to be staked. Pinch stems to promote a more busy growth. Plant with plenty of organic matter in medium to wet soils. 

The deep pink blooms appear late summer into fall and are on tightly clustered terminal racemes. The blooms are similar to snapdragons in appearance.

Works well in a woodland setting and moist sites along bogs, ponds or streams. They can be used in borders and mass plantings as long as the moisture requirements are met.

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Hot Lips'
    Reddish stem and deeper pink blooms
Tags:
#purple#white#butterflies#pink#yellow#partial shade#summer#perennial#wildflowers#fall interest#wet sites#stream banks#pond margins#moist soil#NC native#deer resistant#native garden#pollinator plant#native wildflower#native
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Hot Lips'
    Reddish stem and deeper pink blooms
Tags:
#purple#white#butterflies#pink#yellow#partial shade#summer#perennial#wildflowers#fall interest#wet sites#stream banks#pond margins#moist soil#NC native#deer resistant#native garden#pollinator plant#native wildflower#native
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Chelone
    Species:
    lyonii
    Family:
    Plantaginaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South Eastern U.S.A
    Distribution:
    USA: AL , CT , MA , ME , MS , NC , NY , SC , TN , WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Deer resistant
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    1/2 inch long oval seed capsules are initial green and turn darker shades of brown when the seeds approach maturity. It splits to release seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Up to 1-in., deep pink to rose-purple flowers with 2 petals bloom in dense racemes. The lower lip is bearded with deep yellow hairs. Blooms July- September.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    3 to 7 inches long and 2 inches across medium to dark green egg-shaped leaves are rounded at base with pointed tips. The margins are sharply toothed. The lower surface is pale green.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Light green central stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Wet Soil