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The Plant Guide

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Chelone obliqua

kee-LO-nay ob-LEE-kwah

Turtlehead is an excellent, sturdy, vertical perennial with rounded stems, medium texture and deep-green, boldly veined leaves on short stalks. Weather-resistant flowers are dark pink or purple, borne in short, dense, terminal spikes. The flowers are tubular 2-lipped blooms, with a sparse yellow beard inside each lower lip.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsBlooms for at least 4 weeks and will continue into late summer with deadheading. Great mid-border plant.

CareGrow in partial shade with moist soil. Will grow in dense shade, or even in full sun if soil is soggy. Tolerates heavy clay soils and will also grow in a bog garden.

PropagationFrom seed in early spring. Divide in spring. Root soft-tip cuttings in late spring or early summer.

ProblemsProne to powdery mildew, rust, fungal leaf spots, and damage from slugs and snails.

  • Genus : Chelone
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Bloom Time : Late Summer, Summer
  • Moisture : Medium to Wet
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Flower Color : Pink
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
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