USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols.Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 181.
Where Commonly Found: Swamps, stream banks, lakes, wetlands, moist roadsides, ditches, CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, VT.
How to Identify:
(For unfamiliar words: Wikipedia Glossary of Botanical Terms).
Go Botany Key to Chelone glabra.
Missouri Botanical Garden description of Chelone glabra. Click on more images.
Flower Color: White, sometimes pink-tinged on top.
Flower Type: Bi-lateral, 1″ long in short spike, with upper lip arching over lower lip (turtle head effect, snapdragon-like, two lipped), tubular, thick and clustered in a terminal spike.
Flower Time: early July – late August.
Leaf Arrangement Type: Opposite leaves, attractive plant, stiff, erect, clumping with leafy smooth stems,
Leaf Type: Narrowly lanceolate, tapering to sharp tip, finely toothed, 3″-6″ long, coarsely-toothed, dark green.
Height: 3.5 ‘- 4.5’
Seed Collection: When papery oval or rounded capsule, about 1/2″ long, turns darker brown, near frost-time, collect capsules, air-dry, then separate, store in sealed container in refrigerator.
Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Larval Host
Use: Garden, Rain Garden, Naturalizing
Light: Part Sun
Hardiness Zone: 3 to 8 USDA Zone Map
Soils: Moist to Wet
Notes: Turtle’s Head is a stiff upright native with snapdragon-like flowers with high pollinator value.
Native to the eastern half of the US: Biota of North America Program (BONAP) – North American Plant Atlas (NAPA).