Chelone obliqua 'Tiny Tortuga' (Turtlehead) Unity Grown
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'Tiny Tortuga' is a compact cultivar of the U.S native Chelone obliqua, commonly referred to as red turtlehead; although this species' flowers tend more towards dark pink than red, they are darker in shade than close relative Chelone lyonii. 'Tiny Tortuga' lives up to its name, and typically grows to only 18-24" tall, much smaller than other turtlehead varieties.
This dwarf cultivar grows best in sun and lighter, moist to wet soils but tolerates clay and adapts to higher temperature ranges than its relatives C. glabra and C. lyonii once established. Slowly spreading rhizomatic roots combined with compact plant size makes 'Tiny Tortuga' an equally great choice for containers and small gardens as it does for erosion control and wetland plantings.
Chelone obliqua's showy dark-pink flowers bloom late summer into fall and attract a number of pollinators including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Though 'Tiny Tortuga' is an ornamental cultivar, the straight species Chelone obliqua is considered rare in Maryland and supplementary ornamental plantings may be beneficial for pollinator species.