Alphabetical Plant Listing

Chelone obliqua (Twisted Shell Flower)

Twisted Shell Flower, Turtlehead, Shellflower, Rose Turtlehead


Showy and long lived, Chelone obliqua (Twisted Shell Flower) is an erect, clump-forming perennial with showy terminal spikes of two-lipped, dusky deep pink or purple flowers from late summer into fall. The hooded flowers are shaped like turtle heads just emerging from the shell, hence the common name. Attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds, they rise above a bushy mound of dark green foliage that remains handsome all season long. The coarsely-toothed, prominently veined, lance-shaped leaves, 8 in. long (20 cm), are arranged in pairs along the stems. Cultivated since the middle of the 18th century, Twisted Shell Flower is valued for its lovely and long-lasting foliage. It is terrific for bog gardens and water gardens.

  • Grows up to 24-36 in. tall (60-90 cm) and 12-24 in. wide (30-60 cm). Will self-seed in moist soils.
  • Easily grown in organically rich, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade.
  • A welcomed addition to borders,woodland gardens, near ponds and streams, bog gardens.
  • Deadhead flower spikes as they fade. Pinching stems in spring will result in a shorter plant that will be less prone to flopping.
  • No serious pest or disease issue. Keep an eye out for slugs, snails and powdery mildew.
  • Propagate by seed sown in containers in a cold frame in early spring; by division in spring; root soft tip cuttings in late spring or early summer.
  • Native to the United States.

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Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 9
Heat Zones 3 – 9
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Chelone - Turtleheads
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" – 24" (45cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Clay Soil, Wet Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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 Mcajan, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 9
Heat Zones 3 – 9
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Chelone - Turtleheads
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" – 24" (45cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Clay Soil, Wet Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Chelone - Turtleheads

Guides with Chelone - Turtleheads

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