Chelonopsis yagiharana
Common Name: Japanese turtlehead 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Eastern Asia
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: August to October
Bloom Description: Purple-pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy


Grow in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best with some afternoon shade in the St. Louis area. Slowly spreads in the garden.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Chelonopsis is not commonly sold in commerce at this time. This is a penstemon-like perennial that grows to 24” tall and features a late summer to fall bloom of tubular purple-pink flowers (to 1.5” long). Stems are clad with ovate-oblong, serrate, oblong to lance-shaped dark green leaves (to 3” long). Leaves acquire bronze tones in fall. The genus name and the sometimes used common name of Japanese chelone seem to suggest that the plant resembles Chelone. Regardless of resemblance, it should be noted that Chelone (Plantaginaceae) and Chelonopsis (Lamiaceae) are in different families.


No known serious insect or disease problems.


Borders. Shade or woodland gardens.