Chelone lyonii

Chelone lyonii


Chelone lyonii, commonly called turtlehead, pink turtlehead or Lyon’s turtlehead, is an upright, clump-forming, rhizomatous perennial in the figwort family which typically grows 2-4’ tall on stiff, square stems. Hooded, snapdragon-like, pink flowers resemble the heads of open-mouthed turtles, hence the common name.



Best grown in moist, rich, humusy, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Best in cool summer climates in part shade areas. Tolerates close to full shade. Consider pinching back the stem ends in spring to reduce mature plant height, especially if growing plants in strongly shaded areas where they are more likely to need some support. In optimum environments, however, staking is usually not required. Appreciates a good composted leaf mulch, particularly in full sun areas. Spreads slowly by rhizomes to form large clumps, but is not invasive. Will self-seed in moist soils. Propagate by division, cuttings and seed.


Type: Herbaceous perennial

Family: Plantaginaceae

Zone: 3 to 8

Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet

Spread: 1.50 to 2.50 feet

Bloom Time: July to September

Bloom Description: Pink

Sun: Full sun to part shade

Water: Medium to wet

Maintenance: Medium

Flower: Showy

Attracts: Butterflies

Tolerate: Deer, Erosion, Wet Soil

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