Turtlehead (Chelone)

Turtlehead Plant Features

Turtlehead is a North American native wildflower that's mainly grown for its late-season show of attractive pink or white flowers. If you look at the blooms closely, you'll see each individual flower does indeed resemble the head of a turtle. The lustrous, dark green foliage makes for a fun contrast to many perennials such as ligularia. Turtlehead can grow 2 to 3 feet tall and works well in sun or partially shady locations. The flowers are attractive to butterflies. Turtlehead grows well in moist locations and is deer resistant. Hardy from zones 4-8.

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Turtlehead Growing Instructions

Grow turtlehead in a spot that has consistently moist or even wet soil; this perennial does not tolerate drought. Turtlehead blooms best in full sun, but also tolerates partial shade, especially in hot-summer areas that frequently experience dry spells. Pinch the flowering stems back in the spring to keep the plants a little shorter and stockier.

Turtlehead is not recommended for human or animal consumption.
  • Water

    Constantly moist soil

  • Light

    Outside: Part sun

    Outside: Sun

  • Colors



  • Special Features

    Attracts butterflies

    Deer/rabbit resistant

Complement your Turtlehead

Hibiscus, Hardy
Full sun and moist soil are just what Turtlehead and Hardy Hibiscus require for a bold show of color.

Joe Pye Weed
Joe Pye Weed thrives under the same conditions as Turtlehead and also blooms in the fall.

Ligularia and Turtlehead are a great team in rich, wet soil.