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Flowers in terminal spike; paired leaves evident

Chelone glabra

Common Name: Turtlehead
Family: Scrophulariaceae

Entry Author:  C. Westring
Description:  Perennial herb
7 to 15 cm, narrow, sharply toothed, simple, paired, lanceolate leaves
Tight cluster of swollen white flowers with short petioles.  Flowers are crowded into terminal spikes up to 10 cm long. 
Within spherical capsules, up to 1.5 cm in diameter
Stem: Slender, erect, branched or unbranched, smooth
Branching Pattern:
Height:  30-90 cm
Conditions/Habitat/Kind of Forest:  Moist meadows, thickets, and stream banks
Range:  Eastern half of the United States
Conservation Status-US/ World Wide:  Common except in New York (vulnerable)
Uses (Human):  Used in American folk medicine for a wide variety of ailments


Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains.  February 23, 2005.  Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center.  Accessed: November 29, 2005.  <>

Plants for a Future.  June 2004.  Accessed: November 29, 2005.  <>

Thieret, John W.   National Audubon Society Field Guide to Wildflowers: Eastern Region (Rev. Ed.).  New York: Alfred A. Knopf Inc., 2001.

Urban Horticulture.  2005.  North Carolina State University.  Accessed:  November 29, 2005. <>

USDA, NRCS. 2005. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 ( Data compiled from various sources by Mark W. Skinner. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

This page was created by: C. Westring, Muhlenberg College
Last updated 12/21/05