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Chelone lyonii Pursh
USDA Symbol: CHLY2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Pink turtlehead produces large, interesting flowers in a terminal raceme atop a 2-4 ft. stem. A tall erect plant with pink or rose-purple, tubular, 2-lipped flowers resembling turtle heads in compact clusters atop stems or in axils of opposite leaves. Flowers, the shape of which suggest a turtle head, are purple; the lower lip bearded with tiny yellow hairs. Dark-green leaves are broadly lance-shaped and arranged in pairs along the stem.
This species occasionally escapes from cultivation in New England and elsewhere. The common name honors John Lyon, an early-19th-century American botanist.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct
, WV Native Distribution:
Mts. of e. TN
to w. NC
& SC Native Habitat:
Rich coves; spruce-fir forests; open stream banks
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement:
Part Shade Soil Description:
Light, rich, moist or wet soils. Conditions Comments:
Needs stout companions to support the slender stems. This species native
range is quite small. It has naturalized as an escape
from cultivation throughout the Northeast.
Plant seeds outside in fall or moist-chill and plant in spring. Seedlings germinate after one year and flower
after two. Roots can be divided in early spring or late fall with the plant is dormant. Space divisions 18 in. apart. Make stem
cuttings in Seed Collection:
The papery capsule
turns darker shades of brown when the seeds approach maturity. The seeds are usually ready for harvest at or near the first frost. Air-dry the capsules, separate the seeds and store in sealed, refrigerated containers. Seed Treatment:
Moist-chill stored seeds six weeks prior to sowing. Commercially Avail:
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Delaware Nature Society
- Hockessin, DEMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2012-10-25
Research By: TWC Staff