Bumblebee Nirvana

Turtlehead does well in sun or shade - so long as the soil is moist to wet

Todays’ favorite perennial flower, turtlehead (Chelone lyonii), is not just my favorite of the day, but that of your bumblebee friends. They just love it. But it’s a struggle for them to get to the goodies: the blossom closes tightly, like a snapping turtle holding a duckling. Still they persist and totally disappear inside the pink 1-inch blossoms. You can hear the buzzing as they gather pollen. It's such a tight fit, they have to back out, bumbling and grumbling. 

Turtlehead spreads, but is not agressive.

Turtlehead grows best in wet or moist locations, but will grow in drier locations if the soil is rich with compost and contains some clay. I’ve never seen it in a dry, sandy location – but if given some shade it might do all right.

Turtlehead is a lovely cut flower in a vase, too

I have plenty of rich, moist soil, and have let my turtlehead expand its clumps at will in both full sun and full shade. It’s a tall flower, 2 to 5 feet. Mine is generally 4 to 5 feet tall. It has been blooming for weeks, and will continue for weeks. 

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