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I remember falling in love with Chelone obliqua var. speciosa at Missouri's Shaw Nature Reserve back in the 1990s. After growing it for many years, we found it to be a superb garden specimen and quite different than the more commonly grown pink-flowered Chelone lyonii. The somewhat stoloniferous clumps produce 3' tall stems, clothed with dark glossy green leaves and topped in September with mauvy-lavender turtleheads...a hummingbird favorite. Chelone obliqua var. speciosa ranges from Minnesota (historically) south to Arkansas, where it can be found in rich, moist, slightly shaded spots. In the garden, we find full sun results in the best flowers and while it is drought-tolerant, good moisture is well appreciated.
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