Sunday, September 9, 2012
Great Perennial for Fall: Chelone lyonii - Turtlehead 'Hotlips'
It can be propagated from cutting taken mid-May through June, which if rooted may even bloom the same fall. It can also be divided. It is more difficult to grow from seed, although it can be done. Growing from seed is difficult because of the variable maturity of seed, sterility of seed, and late maturation of seed, and the need for stratification. Fertilized ovules and sterile seed look very similar. It is a good choice for winter sowing. My preferred method is tip cutting with rooting hormone in May because of the near 100% success rate.
The native which does not have the same glossy leaves as this selection, nor is it as clump forming or long blooming, seems even more sterile than the selected cultivar; however, it is just as easy to cultivate from cuttings.