Chelone lyonii Pursh
Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)
USDA Symbol: CHLY2
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.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct
DistributionUSA: AL , CT , MA , ME , MS , NC , NY , SC , TN , WV
Native Distribution: Mts. of e. TN & AL 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.
PropagationDescription: 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: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Chelone lyonii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Chelone lyonii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Chelone lyonii
MetadataRecord Modified: 2014-08-20
Research By: TWC Staff