• Overview
    Light Needs:
    Full shade
    Watering Needs:
    Water regularly to maintain wet or evenly moist soil - weekly or more.
    Average Landscape Size:
    Fast growing; reaches 2 ft. tall in bloom, spreading to 2 ft. wide.
    Key Feature:
    Charming Flowers for Shade
    Late Summer to Fall
  • Detail
    Botanical Pronunciation:kay-LOH-nee ly-ON-ee-eye
    Plant type:Perennial
    Sunset climate zones:3 - 9, 14 - 17, 28 - 43
    Growth habit:Spreading
    Growth rate:Fast
    Average landscape size:Fast growing; reaches 2 ft. tall in bloom, spreading to 2 ft. wide.
    Foliage color:Green
    Blooms:Late Summer to Fall
    Flower color:Pink
    Garden styleCottage
    Design IdeasTurtlehead 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.
    Companion PlantsMonarda (Bee Balm); Corkscrew Rush (Juncus effusus); Japanese Water Iris (Iris ensata); Dappled Willow (Salix integra); Spiderwort (Tradescantia)
  • Care
    Care Information
    Thrives in enriched, moist soils with part shade in cool summer climates, full shade in warmer areas. Mulch the soil surface to conserve moisture. Stems may be pinched in spring to encourage more compact growth. Spreads slowly by rhizomes; divide clumps every 2 to 3 years.
    Light Needs:
    Light needs: Full Shade
    Full shade
    Watering Needs:
    Water needs: High
    Water regularly to maintain wet or evenly moist soil - weekly or more.
  • History & Lore
    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


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