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 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.