Chelone glabra has many common names, including White turtle head, blamony, bitter herb, codhead, fish mouth, shellflower, snakehead, just to name a few.
By some of these names you may get a sense of what this plant resembles! The shape of the white flower heads is reminiscent of a turtle’s head and a clump of them sit atop a tall, strong stem.
This plant is best grown in moist soils that receive plenty of sun and prefers a humus mulch of leaf litter. The sturdy nature of the flower petals make this a favorite nectar source for bumblebees, as these burly insects have the mass and strength to open the blossoms and reach the nectar inside.
The White Turtlehead is a host plant for the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly, which, while beautiful in itself, has one of the coolest looking chrysalis around.
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Chelone glabra (White turtlehead)
SIZE: type: herbaceous perennial sun needs: full sun, part sun/part shade water needs: Wet to moist soil height: 2-4' plant spacing: 1/sq ft bloom time: July, August, September, October bloom color: white
good plant companions
cardinal flower, blue flag iris, closed gentian, obedient plant, New England Aster