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Chelone glabra

Robust perennial herb that is 1-3' tall, and often grows as a single stem topped with a cluster of large, white flowers. Turtlehead is widely known as a landscape plant for mesic to wet gardens. It is also well suited for wetland restorations, rain gardens, and lake-edge restorations, especially in calcareous and peaty conditions. Many cultivars have been produced that may be mistakenly used in wetland restorations.

USDA symbol: CHGL2

General Information

Plant TypeForb
Height3 feet
Light ExposureSun, Part Sun
Soil MoistureMedium
Bloom ColorWhite
Turtlehead (Turtlehead<div><em class="small">Chelone glabra</em></div>)
Photo credit: Metro Blooms (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceModerate
General Resilience6
Salt ToleranceNone

Pollinator Value: High

Bloom MonthsJuly to September
Larval Host ofButterflies
Specific Pollinators HostedEuphydryas phaeton
Pollinator BenefitInsect Pollinated, Provides Nectar, Supports Specialists

Project Planning

Project TypeRain Garden, Restoration, Sandy or Engineered Soils, Shoreline Buffer
Coefficient of Conservatism8
Herbivore SensitivityLow
Rate of SpreadFast
Soil StabilizationShallow
Vegetative ReproductionClonal


CountyAitkin, Anoka, Beltrami, Benton, Blue Earth, Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chisago, Clearwater, Cook, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Dakota, Fillmore, Goodhue, Hennepin, Houston, Isanti, Kandiyohi, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Le Sueur, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Nicollet, Olmsted, Pine, Ramsey, Rice, Roseau, Sherburne, St. Louis, Stearns, Steele, Wabasha, Wadena, Washington, Winona, Wright
EcoregionDriftless Area, Lake Agassiz Plain, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Lakes and Forests, Northern Minnesota Wetlands, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland, Tallgrass Aspen Parklands