In the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains false turtlehead is most often found growing in moist, rocky locations on north-facing slopes or in partly shady mixed conifer forest at mid to high elevations. This intriguing herbaceous perennial wildflower blooms July-September, providing important late-season nectar for hummingbirds and other pollinators that are attracted to tubular flowers. The branched stems grow from a woody base and deep taproot capable of anchoring into its preferred rocky habitat. The smooth leaves are opposite and sharply serrated. The 1′-3′ tall plant can be erect or arching. The distinct pinkish-purple flowers are wide-mouthed and 2-lipped, and reminiscent of a penstemon or the eastern species of turtlehead. Originally classified in the genus Penstemon, false turtlehead was separated into its own genus due to its winged seeds. Native to mountains in British Columbia down to northwest California, false turtlehead is adaptable to a partly-shady garden with good drainage.
Seed Germination Instructions
60-90 days cold-moist stratification. Sow outside in fall.