Wooden Surface

Chelone glabra

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.


Source: grown from seed originally from Helia Native Nursery, western MA. Original provenance unknown.

Chelone glabra (White turtlehead)

  • details


    More details coming in May

    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



Opening in May

Specific dates and

times coming soon.


Norwell, Massachusetts

Specific address announcement coming soon.


News, helpful tips, and updates on plant availability.

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