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CHELONE lyonii

Image of Chelone lyonii

Jessie Keith

Family

Scrophulariaceae

Botanical Name

CHELONE lyonii

Plant Common Name

Lyon's Turtlehead, Pink Turtlehead

General Description

Native to regions along the Appalachian Mountains, which extend from the southeastern to northeastern United States, Lyon’s turtlehead is an upright perennial grown for its stems topped with clusters of two-lipped, tubular, rose or purple-pink flowers. Wild populations can be found growing in rich, moist soils in open forests and along stream banks.

Deep green, opposite, lance-shaped leaves line the tall stems of this pleasing woodland native. In late summer and autumn the turtle head-like flowers appear atop stiff, upright stems. The flowers are visited by insect and hummingbird pollinators and papery brown seed capsules follow.

Grow Lyon’s turtlehead in full sun to partial shade and provide with moist, fertile soil that's neutral to slightly acid. Its clumps spread slowly and should be divided every few years or so in early spring or late fall. Mulch in mid-spring with compost or leaf mold. This is a pretty, late-season bloomer ideal for mixed borders and moist wildflower gardens. It provides great garden color when many other perennials have slowed down.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 3

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    2'-4' / 0.6m - 1.2m

  • Width

    24"-28" / 61.0cm - 71.1cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    Northeastern United States, Southeastern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water, Ample Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Pink, Rose

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes