Chelone lyonii 'Hot Lips' - Turtlehead
Chelone lyonii 'Hot Lips' - Turtlehead
Chelone lyonii 'Hot Lips' - Turtlehead

Chelone lyonii 'Hot Lips' - Turtlehead

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Butterfly FriendlyFull SunPart ShadeBird Friendly
Chelone lyonii 'Hot Lips'

Chelone (rhymes with "baloney") blooms in late summer with turtlehead shaped, hot pink flowers. ‘Hot Lips’ has deeper pink flowers than the species. The foliage emerges with a bronze tint before turning lustrous deep, dark green. It thrives in rich, moist soil in light shade but is surprisingly drought tolerant once established. Use woodland gardens, waters edge and in the perennial bed. Late season nectar source for butterflies and hummingbirds.

North Creek Unique™ - This unique assortment has been discovered or introduced to the trade and shared with the world by North Creek Nursery. 


  • Deep pink flowers are sought after by butterflies and hummingbirds
  • Thrives in light shade with moist soil
  • Surprisingly drought tolerant once established
  • The blossoms make long-lasting cut flowers
  • A great choice to plant in containers


Native Range

Native to wet woodland areas and streams in the southern Appalachian Mountains from Virginia to South Carolina and west to Tennessee, northern Mississippi and northern Alabama. Thrives in rich coves, spruce-fir forests and open stream banks.

Map Credit: The Biota of North America 
Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)

The resemblance of the turtlehead's flowers to a turtle (known for its long life) led many Native Americans to believe the plant would prolong life. The Iroquois brewed turtlehead tea to protect them against evil spirits. Algonquins mixed the leaves with cedar bark to produce a medicinal tea.



Best grown in moist to wet, rich, humusy soils in part shade. Appreciates a good composted leaf mulch, particularly in sunny areas. Consider pinching back the stem ends in spring to reduce mature plant height, especially if growing plants in strongly shaded areas where they are more likely to need some support. In optimum environments, however, staking is usually not required.


Mature Size: 2-3ft. Tall x 1-ft. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 4-7

Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade

Coming Soon!

    American Beauties Offer Solution Based Plant Collections to Help you Choose

    Quick Tips for Choosing Plants:

    • Planting a variety of native trees, shrubs, perennials and vines increases biodiversity and gives wildlife a source for food, cover and nesting
    • Choose a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees so birds and other wildlife will always be able to find shelter
    • Plant trees and large shrubs where they will block winter winds from the house and shade it in summer, that will save energy and lower your carbon footprint
    • Try your best to buy plants that were grown locally, your independent garden center will be your best bet
    • Think about ultimate height and width of the plant you choose, make sure it will fit the space you have for it when it's reached maturity
    • Plant nectar plants in groups, to attract butterflies and other beneficial insects more easily
    • Ask for help if you need it. Most garden centers either have a landscape designer on staff or they can give you a reference of a designer that is adept at native plant wildlife gardening. There will be upfront costs but they are small when compared to having to redo a landscape that wasn't what you really wanted

    Our Plant Tags Hold the Secrets to Success

    Choosing the right plants for your garden can seem like a daunting task but we’re here to help. Our horticulturists have spent a considerable amount of time researching and writing our beautiful, American Beauties plant tags to help you be successful. First of all, when you see an American Beauties branded pot at your garden center you can be confident that the plant is native to your area and a responsible choice. 

    When you look at our tag you’ll find information about the plants natural habitat. That will give you a clue to how it will work in your backyard. For instance if the plant is naturally founded and moist, shade and you have full sun, it’s not the plant for you. The “Features” section gives you an overview or plant description so you’ll know what to expect. While the “Benefits” section talks about the plants strong suits and how the plant will benefit wildlife. 

    A Special Note About Exposure

    Full sun: Prefers six or more hours of direct sunshine a day
    Partial shade: Thrives in three to six hours of daily sunshine
    Shade: Generally does well with less than three hours of sun per day. Having said that even shade loving plants will struggle in extremely deep shade.


    Best Plants for Bees - Double sided printout for download

    Best Plants for Butterflies - Double sided printout for download

    Best Plants for Birds - Double sided printout for download

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