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PlantFiles: Pink Turtlehead, Lyon's Turtlehead
Chelone lyonii

Family: Scrophulariaceae (skrof-yoo-larr-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Chelone (kay-LOH-nee) (Info)
Species: lyonii (ly-ON-ee-eye) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

21 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From softwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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3 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive wakingdream On Jul 5, 2012, wakingdream from Allentown, PA wrote:

I have been growing Turtlehead for at least 15 years. A white version shows up occasionally, several inches away from the pink patch. Both colors are reliable bloomers.

In late May, I pinched some of the tallest branches to make them develop two leaders instead of just one, reducing the overall height somewhat.

This year (and last year) it is troubled by powdery mildew. I had not seen that in the past.

My favorite aspect of Turtlehead is watching the large bumblebees crawling into the blossom and disappearing, then backing out just like a car coming out of a garage. Very entertaining. I grow the plant near my patio in a patch of clay-like soil that holds extra moisture.

zone 6 southeastern PA

Positive grik On Jun 14, 2010, grik from Saint Paul, MN wrote:

This is a terrific plant for late summer color. It blends in with the border all summer long with nice clean deep green foliage until late summer when it it is covered in pink blossoms. I have a 5x5 patch that is slowly expanding if I don't beat it back occaisionaly.

Positive Zoot On Mar 13, 2010, Zoot from Birmingham, AL wrote:

I believe the spelling is Chelone lyonni

Neutral pokerboy On Aug 20, 2004, pokerboy from Canberra
Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:

A good perennial for late summer colour. Doesn't like excessive heat. A bushy perennial that likes full Sun and a moist soil. Combine with other late summer flowers. pokerboy.

Neutral Sis On Aug 30, 2001, Sis wrote:

Tolerates drier soil once established. No serious pests or diseases. The broadly ovate leaves have toothed

Divide the crowns to reduce large clumps in older plants.

Seeds require stratification(chilling) Refrigerate seeds in mixture of moist peat moss or seed-starting medium in a
plastic bag. Close with a twist-tie and refrigerate for 4-6 weeks. Then sow the mixture as you would normal seed.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Santa Cruz, California
Lincoln, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Waukegan, Illinois
Solsberry, Indiana
Pacific Junction, Iowa
Parkville, Maryland
Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Farmington, Michigan
Keego Harbor, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Munsonville, New Hampshire
Elba, New York
Rochester, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Warren, Ohio
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Kintnersville, Pennsylvania
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Kalama, Washington

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