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Chelone lyonii 'Hot Lips' (turtlehead)

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Technical sheet - Chelone

Chelone lyonii 'Hot Lips'


Lustrous, deep green foliage is topped in August and September with rose pink, turtle-head-shaped flowers. Red stems persist most of the season. Bronze green early season growth is another distinctive feature.

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Chelone lyonii 'Hot Lips' - 72 per flat Availability
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2-3 Feet


1 Feet


12 Inches

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 3-8

turtlehead Interesting Notes

Rose-pink flowers on dense terminal spikes perk up the garden when this stunning herbaceous perennial begins to flower in late summer. Lustrous, deep green foliage adds another attractive feature during the growing season. 'Hot Lips' Lyon's turtlehead thrives in rich, moist soil and light shade; however, it is remarkably tolerant of dry conditions. It grows 2-3' tall and can be pinched in May to produce a bushier plant. An excellent choice for growing in containers, it is also deer resistant as well as a butterfly host plant. To spice up your late summer garden, combine it with Heuchera americanaPolystichum acrostichoidesSolidago rugosa 'Fireworks', Lobelia siphilitica, and Conoclinium coelestinum. - Mt. Cuba Center

Chelone (rhymes with "baloney") was a nymph in Greek mythology who insulted the gods by ridiculing or not attending (versions vary) the marriage of Zeus to Hera. The gods punished her by turning her into a turtle.

Chelone lyonii 'Hot Lips' Growing and Maintenance Tips

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.

Good Substitutions

hardy ageratum, blue mistflower Eupatorium coelestinum
blueflag Iris versicolor
great blue lobelia Lobelia siphilitica
Rosemallow Hibiscus 'Kopper King'

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Sun
Full Sun
Part Sun
Part Sun
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Cut Flower
Cut Flower

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Horticultural Plug
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Summer
Green Infrastructure
Bioretention/Rain Garden
Native to North America
Propagation Type