Chelone – Turtlehead

Are you looking for another great fall blooming perennial?  Chelone (pronouced chee-LOW-nee) or also known as Turtlehead might just be for you!  We have it in several placed in our shade gardens and it is now coming into bloom and is just gorgeous.  The foliage color on these plants is such a deep vibrant green and adorned with the lovely pink flowers – it is really a nice “perk” this time of the year when so many things are fading or have faded.

They are robust, moisture-loving perennials and their blossoms look a little “inflated”.   They resemble the head of a turtle with it’s mouth open – probably where the name came from!  The dried seed clusters once the flowers are gone are also very atractive. 

These plants are hardy here in Zone 4 – and will grow to about 2 feet tall.  They will spread a little – but they don’t overtake an area.  You can use them as a specimen plant or in the background as a border.  Companion plants include Joe-Pye weed, asters, and Japanese anemone.