Cheerful spikes of pink Snapdragon-like flowers over spreading plants. Ideal middle-of-the-border plant for contrasting color and foliage among dwarf shrubs. May require staking and prefers moist conditions. Herbaceous perennial.
Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. For a neat appearance, remove old foliage before new leaves emerge. Divide clumps every 2 to 3 years in early spring.
Turtlehead is a valuable problem solver for poorly drained sites. Wide adaptability to radically differing climates and as a North American native it has all the qualities of a superior perennial. Well suited to middle of the perennial border and blended into mixed plantings. Super foundation plant where drainage is problematic. A natural plant for wild gardens and those composed of locally native species. Its habitat tells us turtlehead is excellent around bogs and water gardens where soils may be perennially moist from splash and spay. Plant in irregular groupings for masses of foliage and flowers.
Combine turtlehead with Snow Angel Coral Bells, (Heuchera x 'Snow Angel'), Auslese Lady's Mantle, (Alchemilla mollis 'Auslese'), Rose Queen Bishop's Hat, (Epimedium grandiflorum 'Rose Queen'), Golden Alexander Variegated Loosestrife, (Lysimachia punctata 'Golden Alexander') and Grape Knee-Hi Lobelia, (Lobelia x 'Grape Knee-Hi''). It's outstanding other American swamp native such as Bald Cypress, (Taxodium distictum) and Glowlight Louisiana Iris, (Iris louisiana 'Glowlight').
This perennial is native to the wetlands of the southern Appalachian region including the states of Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia. It falls into the figwort family, Scrophulariaceae, which contains 190 genera including other North American natives such as Penstemon and garden foxgloves. The was named after the Greek for turtle, which refers to the shape of the corolla of the flowers, hence the common name as well. There about 8 known species and only a few are cultivated. This species is named for early American botanist John Lyon who died in 1818.
Turtlehead is among the most promising of our eastern natives for cultivated gardens. Naturally found from Maine and Minnesota to Mississippi and Florida, its broad adaptatation to such varying climates makes it a willing wild one for tamed backyard gard