Content Detail

Rose turtle-head is similar to pink turtle-head in that they both show unique, pink blooms at the ends of the stems in late summer or early fall. Happiest with consistent moisture, turtle-head is best used at the edges of a pond or stream or in wet areas of a planting bed.

  • Family (English) Figwort
  • Family (botanic) Scrophulariaceae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial
  • Native locale North America
  • Size range Medium plant (12-24 inches), Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Occasional flooding, Wet sites
  • Season of interest late summer, early fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Pink
  • Shape or form Upright


Rose turtle-head is 2 to 3 feet tall and wide, although the plant can expand in wet areas to form large clumps.

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Rose turtle-head is native to the southeastern United States. It can be found in wetlands.

Attracts birds or pollinators: 

Butterflies and other pollinators are attracted to the blooms.

Leaf description: 

Rose turtle-head has large leaves with prominent veins. The leaves are rounded at the base, with pointed tips and shallow teeth.

Flower description: 

Flowers are rosy-red and clumped at the ends of the stems. As with other turtle-heads, the flowers are uniquely shaped, resembling the head of a small turtle.

Fruit description: 

Pointed oval capsules have several flat seeds with wings within.

Plant care:

Plant in full sun to part-shade in rich, consistently moist soil. Divide in spring. Do not cut down for winter, but wait for spring clean-up.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

No serious pest and disease problems, although the plant may mildew if adequate airflow is not provided. Deer and rabbit resistant. Tolerates wet sites.


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