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Chelone obliqua 2022 Perennial Plant of the Year

Chelone Obliqua or Pink Turtle head is the 2022 PPOY. Photo by Elaine Rude
  • Common Name: Pink turtlehead/Chelone
  • Height: 90 cm
  • Spread: 91 cm
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Colour: pink
  • Bloom Time: Late Summer
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Soil Moisture: Average, Moist
  • Plant Uses: Attracts Bees, Attracts Butterflies, Attracts Hummingbirds, Cut Flower
  • Zone: 3A
  • Recommended: Prefers average to damp soil
  • Description:

    Pink (also sometimes known as red or rose) turtlehead (Chelone obliqua) has dense, upright habit with attractive glossy green, toothed, oval-to-lance-shaped foliage and striking dark pink flowers. These features make it a standout in the perennial garden.

    The two-lipped blooms, with the upper lip protruding slightly over the lower lip, lend the plant its common name due to their tubular shape resembling the mouth of a turtle.

    Pink turtlehead typically blooms in late summer, so it will put on a show when many other perennials are finished for the season. As a bonus, the plant will bloom for three to six weeks, and the flowers, racemes borne on tall stems, are suitable for cutting. The blooms are also highly appealing to pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Showcase pink turtlehead most effectively by planting it in drifts, in
    mixed borders, or in beds.

  • Other: Powdery mildew can be an issue during some growing seasons. Combat this by maintaining sufficient air circulation through the plant by pruning out some stems if growth becomes too dense.

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