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Turtle Head Pink

Chelone lyonii 'Hot Lips'

Photo: Turtle Head Pink

General description

Short spikes of rosy-pink flowers that look like a turtle's head with its mouth open delight children and other passersby in late summer and early fall. This is the kind of plant that makes a great backdrop for shorter plants in the garden all season long, and suddenly catches everyone's attention when it's in bloom.

Chelone is a long-blooming perennial that thrives in moist woodland conditions. This variety has bronze-green foliage that turns a deeper green than the species, but is equally as showy. The upright, red stems provide additional interest throughout the season.


Plant requirements

This plant has no description yet.


Native to eastern North America, these plants thrive along streams and ponds where the water supply remains constant. However, they have also proven to be adaptable to normal garden conditions, where they will be long-lived and dependable.

Plant Chelone in full sun if the soil is constantly moist or wet. In average moisture conditions, it is better to site these plants in partial shade. Rich organic soil is best. Don't worry if you don't see these plants popping up in early spring--they are late risers. They quickly make up for this, however, and even benefit from being pinched back in early summer. This will result in fuller, bushier plants.

Divisions can be made in spring or fall if desired. One reader reported an alternative method of propagation: Take cuttings in spring and root them in a vase of water in a sunny window. They take several weeks to root, then plant them outside.


Practical use

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1 cm