General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 2 to 4 feet
Plant Spread: 2 to 4 feet or more
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Pink
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Underground structures: Rhizome
Uses: Water gardens
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Propagation: Seeds: Will not come true from seed
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Pollinators: Bumblebees
Miscellaneous: Monoecious

Common names
  • Pink Turtlehead
  • Lyon's Turtlehead

This plant is tagged in:
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  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Oct 6, 2020 10:17 AM concerning plant:
    This cultivar of the Pink Turtlehead was introduced to the garden trade by North Creek Nursery in southeast Pennsylvania, selected because it has a richer pink flower color and darker green leaves than the straight species. The species is native to the southeastern US in Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama, and has naturalized in New York, New England, and the state of Washington. The species gets its name of "turtlehead" from the hooded snapdragon-like flowers that resemble a turtle's head. This Greek genus name of "Chelone" comes from the name of a nymph who was punished for not attending the wedding of Zeus with Hera by being turned into a turtle. The species name of "lyonii" comes from that of John Lyon who was a botanist in the southern Appalachians in the late 18th century and early 19th century. This 'Hot Lips' is the common cultivar that is offered by many nurseries and garden centers in eastern North America. It is easy to grow, doing best in part shade with morning sun and afternoon shade in moist, rich soil. If there is too much shade, it will fall over or lodge and will need staking. I have noticed that bumblebees are happy to go through all the work of crawling into the flowers. My old plant grows about 4 feet high or a little more and is about 4.5 feet wide as a clump. In 2020 I cut the plant way back in June so that it grew to only about 27 inches high and then still bloomed well.
  • Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Mar 14, 2012 1:17 PM concerning plant:
    'Hot Lips' Turtlehead is a selection of the species that differs in having deeper green foliage and bright, deep pink flowers. Otherwise it's quite similar - 2 to 3 feet tall, late summer flowers, prefers average to moist soil and full sun. (Sunlight Gardens)

  • Posted by mom2goldens (Carmel, IN - Zone 5b) on Sep 29, 2011 5:34 PM concerning plant:
    This is a reliable bloomer and adds some needed color to the garden in the later part of summer. It does like some extra moisture, but does not seem picky about soil. Seems not to be prone to any insect or disease issues.
Plant Events from our members
aspenhill On June 13, 2015 Obtained plant
DG David (greenthumb99) & Pat (ecnalg) - qty 3
aspenhill On May 20, 2015 Obtained plant
picked up May 15, 2015 North Creek Nursery - qty 72
aspenhill On April 15, 2013 Obtained plant
North Creek Nursery - qty 50; TG
aspenhill On May 19, 2012 Obtained plant
DG Jessica (gardadore) - qty 2; X-HSG
Catmint20906 On August 25, 2015 Bloomed
Catmint20906 On May 31, 2015 Obtained plant
MissMew On June 9, 2019 Maintenance performed
Cut back
MissMew On July 18, 2015 Obtained plant
From Suzanne's garden
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