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Everyone loves a flower who doesn’t fear a cute and fuzzy turtle with big ears. Explore the world of turtles while adding some whimsy to your space.Turtlehead is a clump-forming perennial plant that blooms in fall with hooded flowers that look similar to snapdragon blooms. The flower gets its unique name from its resemblance to a turtle's beak, but the genius name dates back to ancient Greece mythology and the nymph named Chelone. As the story goes, Chelone elected not to attend the marriage of Zeus and Hera, so she and her house were tossed into a river, where she transformed into a tortoise who carried her house on her back.
Turtlehead plants prefer moist soil in a location with filtered sun, but they also have a good tolerance for shady conditions. One thing they do not like, however, is dry soil. In bright sun, a layer of leaf mulch will help keep the soil cool and moist. When planted in a shady area, they may require staking to prevent them from flopping over, though this is rarely necessary in sunnier locations.Keep your turtlehead plants continually moist while the plants set root and throughout their growing and blooming season. As a general rule of thumb, turtlehead grows best when it gets regular water, and it is especially important during the first year as the plants establish themselves. The less water stress they suffer, the more they will thrive.
Turtlehead is easily propagated by lifting the clumps and dividing the root mass. In cooler climates, this is best done in the early spring. In warmer zones, you will have the best luck dividing in early fall. Divide the plant when its shoots stand at least an inch high, and form into separate clumps that have at least three established shoots in each section.Turtlehead is a perennial found throughout most of the eastern half of the United States. It generally is found along stream banks and damp ground, and usually grows to a height of 2 to 3 feet. The plant has a square stem with leaves that are opposite, toothed, and narrow. White flowers, often with a pink tinge, appear between mid summer and fall. The flowers are irregular, two-lipped and grow in dense spikes. (Source:www.fs.fed.us)