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Chelone glabra (White Turtlehead)

Balmony, Rheumatism Wort, Salt Rheumweed, Shell Flower, Snakehead, Turtle Bloom, Turtlehead, White Turtlehead

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Chelone glabra, Balmony, Rheumatism Wort, Salt Rheumweed, Shell Flower, Snakehead, Turtle Bloom, Turtlehead, White Flowers, White Perennial

Chelone glabra (White Turtlehead) is an erect, clump-forming perennial with showy, dense terminal spikes of two-lipped, white or pink-tinged flowers from late summer into fall. Blooming for 3-4 weeks, the hooded flowers are shaped like turtle heads just emerging from the shell, hence the common name. Attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds, they rise above a bushy mound of dark green foliage that remains handsome all season long. The coarsely-toothed, lance-shaped leaves, 8 in. long (20 cm), are arranged in pairs along the stems. A very pretty Chelone species.

  • Grows up to 24-36 in. tall (60-90 cm) and 18-30 in. wide (345-75 cm). Slowly spreads by rhizomes.
  • Easily grown in organically rich, medium to wet soils in part shade.
  • A welcomed addition to borders, woodland gardens, bog gardens, rain gardens, near ponds and streams.
  • Cut back at the end of the season. Pinching stems in spring will result in a shorter plant that will be less prone to flopping.
  • No serious pest or disease issue. Keep an eye out for powdery mildew and rust diseases.
  • Propagate by seed or by division in spring. Stem-tip cuttings can be taken in spring (see softwood cuttings).
  • Native to the United States.

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 8
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Plantaginaceae
Genus Chelone
Common names White Turtlehead, Turtlehead, Snakehead
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Late)
Fall
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 1' - 3'
(30cm - 90cm)
Spacing 18" - 30"
(50cm - 80cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maine, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, Virginia, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Bog Gardens, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Chelone obliqua (Twisted Shell Flower)
Chelone lyonii (Pink Turtlehead)

Recommended Companion Plants

Rudbeckia fulgida (Black-Eyed Susan)
Hosta (Plantain Lily)
Persicaria amplexicaulis (Mountain Fleece)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 8
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Plantaginaceae
Genus Chelone
Common names White Turtlehead, Turtlehead, Snakehead
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Late)
Fall
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 1' - 3'
(30cm - 90cm)
Spacing 18" - 30"
(50cm - 80cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maine, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, Virginia, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Bog Gardens, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Not sure which Chelone (Turtlehead) to pick?
Compare Now

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