Family:     Plantaginaceae (Plantain family)

Duration:  Perennial

Height:     60-120 cm (2-4 ft)

Blooming: Aug.-Sept.


White Turtlehead

Chelone glabra  L.

Flowers: white or vanilla (sometimes pink tinged) turtlehead shaped flower.

Leaves: are 4-15 times as long as broad oppositely arranged.  They can grow up to 15 cm (6 in) long.  The leaves have teeth and no hair.

Fruits: an egg shaped capsule holding winged seeds.

Sun:  Full sun or part shade.

Ideal Conditions: Thrives in moist to dry soils in shade or partial shade.

INPAWS Native Communities: Woodland (shade); Water's edge (sun).

Comments:  White turtlehead is the only Chelone in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.  

Etymology:  Chelone (Χελώνη) - meaning "turtle" in Greek - was a mythological mountain nymph whose mischief or late arrival at Zeus' wedding caused the nymph to be cursed making her carry her house with her wherever she went (a tortoise). Glabra is Latin for "hairless" or "smooth".

all photos by Nathanael Pilla

Landscape:  White turtlehead makes a nice addition to your rain garden or larger wet areas. Stays under 3 ft, but in great conditions can reach 4 ft. Host plant for the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly. This plant is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also an important part of the butterfly's lifecycle.

Species Present and Native
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444 Barker Road

Michigan City, IN., 46360 

The mission of Save the Dunes is to preserve, protect and restore the Indiana dunes and all natural resources in Northwest Indiana’s Lake Michigan Watershed for an enhanced quality of life.

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