white turtlehead

(Chelone glabra)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

white turtlehead

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

OBL - Obligate wetland

Midwest

OBL - Obligate wetland

Northcentral & Northeast

OBL - Obligate wetland

Nativity

Native

 
Occurrence

Uncommon

 
Habitat

Wet. Streambanks, wet meadows, open wet woodlands, sedge meadows, marshes. Full sun to partial shade.

 
Flowering

July to September

     
Flower Color

White

     
Height

20 to 32

     

Identification

This is a 20 to 32 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on a single stem from a taproot and rhizomes. It sometimes forms colonies.

The stems are erect and hairless. They are square but have rounded angles, sometimes causing the stem to appear round. They are usually unbranched, sometimes sparingly branched above the middle.

The leaves are opposite and short stalked or stalkless. Each pair of opposite leaves is rotated 90 degrees from the pair below. The leaf blade is unlobed, linear to lance egg-shaped, up to 6 long, and to 1¼ wide. They taper to a sharp point at the tip. The upper and lower surfaces are hairless. The margins are finely toothed with sharp, outward- or forward-pointing teeth.

The inflorescence is a dense, 1¼ to 3 long spike of flowers at the end of the stem. The spike is subtended by a pair of slightly smaller leaves. Each flower is subtended by a few modified leaves (bracts) that resemble the sepals.

The flowers are 1 to 1 long. There are 5 sepals, 5 petals, 4 fertile stamens, 1 infertile stamen (staminode), and 1 style. The sepals are green. They are fused at the base then deeply separated into 5 broadly elliptic lobes. The petals are white, sometimes partly greenish-yellow, sometimes tinged with pink or purple toward the tip. They are fused at the base into a long tube with a shallowly 2-lobed upper lip and a shortly 3-lobed lower lip. The tube is much longer than the lobes. The upper lip arches downward. It is said to resembe the head of a turtle, giving this plant its common name. The middle lobe of the lower lip is elevated and partially or almost completely encloses the throat. The upper surface is covered with long, soft, shaggy, white hairs. The fertile stamens have flat, hairy filaments and densely hairy anthers. The sterile staminode is green and is much shorter and narrower than the stamens. The flowers are not fragrant.

The fruit is an egg-shaped seed capsule with numerous seeds.

 
Similar
Species

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7.


Comments

Baltimore Checkerspot
This is the primary, but not only, plant on which the Baltimore checkerspot lays its eggs.


Taxonomy

Family:

Plantaginaceae (plantain)

 

Tribe:

Cheloneae

 
Synonyms

Chelone chlorantha

Chelone glabra var. chlorantha

Chelone glabra var. dilatata

Chelone glabra var. elatior

Chelone glabra var. elongata

 

Chelone glabra var. glabra

Chelone glabra var. linifolia

Chelone glabra var. ochroleuca

Chelone glabra var. typica

Chelone montana

 
Common
Names

balmony

bitter herb

codhead

fish mouth

shellflower

 

snake mouth

snakehead

turtle bloom

turtlehead

white turtlehead


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk or flower cluster.

 

filament

On plants: The thread-like stalk of a stamen which supports the anther. On Lepidoptera: One of a pair of long, thin, fleshy extensions extending from the thorax, and sometimes also from the abdomen, of a caterpillar.

 

linear

Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.

 

rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

 

staminode

A modified stamen that produces no pollen. It often has no anther.

       

Visitor Photos

   
Share your photo of this plant.

Bill Reynolds


  white turtlehead    

       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   

Plant

  white turtlehead   white turtlehead
       

Inflorescence

  white turtlehead   white turtlehead
       

Flower

  white turtlehead    
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  Turtlehead (Chelone glabra)
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Turtlehead (Chelone glabra)  
     
  Bio Regional Herbalism Turtle Head Patricia Kyritsi Howell
SylvanBotanical
 
   
 
About

Published on Oct 30, 2012

In this installment of our Bio-Regional Herbalism Series, Patricia Kyritsi Howell discusses Turtle Head (Chelone glabra).

 
     

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
Share your video of this plant.

     
     

Other Videos

 
  Minnesota Native Plant - White Turtlehead (Chelone Glabra)
MNNativePlants
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 29, 2013

This video is of the White Turtlehead (Chelone Glabra), a beautiful white flower for your native garden or near water features.

 
     
  Identifying WhiteTurtlehead, Chelone glabra
MyNatureApps
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jan 29, 2012

How to identify White Turtlehead, Chelone glabra. www.mynatureapps.com

 
     
  Bee in Turtlehead flower (Chelone glabra)
Mark Bellis
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 9, 2013

No description available.

 
     
  Duke Gardens Spring 2010 Plant & Craft Fest preview: white turtlehead
spdgevents
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Apr 20, 2010

Stefan Bloodworth talks about white turtlehead (Chelone glabra), one of myriad plants for sale April 24, 2010, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Spring Plant & Craft Festival. Bloodworth is curator of the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants at Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University in Durham. Info: sarahpdukegardens.org

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this plant.

Bill Reynolds
8/8/2003

Location: St. Louis Co. MN

 

white turtlehead


     
     
 

MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings

   


 

 

Binoculars

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2017 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.