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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Chelone glabra L.
Synonym(s): Chelone chlorantha, Chelone glabra var. chlorantha, Chelone glabra var. dilatata, Chelone glabra var. elatior, Chelone glabra var. elongata, Chelone glabra var. linifolia, Chelone glabra var. ochroleuca, Chelone glabra var. typica, Chelone montana
USDA Symbol: CHGL2
This smooth plant has tight terminal clusters of white (often lavender-tinged) tubular, 2-lipped flowers resembling turtle heads. White turtlehead, a robust perennial, grows 1-4 ft. tall. Its erect stems end in spikes of white flowers, the shape of which suggests a turtle head. The leaves are elongate and arranged opposite eachother along the stem.
The distinctive shape of this flower is reflected in the genus name, derived from the Greek chelone (a tortoise).
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep
, WV Canada: NB
, QC Native Distribution:
Nf. to MN,
s. to GA
& n.e. AR Native Habitat:
Brushy marshes; stream banks; wet ditches; low meadows; woodlands
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Light, rich, wet to moist soils.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies , Hummingbirds
Larval Host: Baltimore Checkerspot (Euphydryas phaeton).
Plant seeds outside in fall or moist-chill and plant in spring. Seedlings germinate after one year and flower
after two. Roots can be divided in early spring or late fall with the plant is dormant. Space divisions 18 in. apart. Make stem
cuttings in Seed Collection:
The papery capsule
turns darker shades of brown when the seeds approach maturity. The seeds are usually ready for harvest at or near the first frost. Air-dry the capsules, separate the seeds and store in sealed, refrigerated containers. Seed Treatment:
Moist-chill stored seeds six weeks prior to sowing. Commercially Avail:
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Native wildflowers for Northern Indiana
May 08, 2007
I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
on Saturday April 21. What a beautiful place. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. I was
wondering how I could find out w...
view the full question and answer
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2012-12-07
Research By: TWC Staff