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Chelone Glabra

Information is courtesy of Magna Vista High School students




Scientific Name: Chelone glabra

Common Name: Turtle Head 

Translation: Chelone glabra  comes from the greek language; the word 'Chelone' in Greek means tortoise. 

Original Namer: Carl Linnaeus  

Origin of Plant: Greece 


Plants Description: In the spring, the flower is all green with  just a stem, and few leaves growing out the sides. In late spring to early summer, the plant grows to have a unbloomed flower near the top. In the fall, the plant thrives with multiple flowers flowing from the top, with what looks like a small turtle's head stem peeking from the top. It reproduces through seeds and pollination. The act of pollination occurs through mostly butterflies and on some occasions hummingbirds and bees. The plant is also home to many insects including mostly caterpillars and spiders. Overall it is just a beautiful and impressive plant.


Chelone  was one of the nymphs in Greek mythology who dared to cast aspersions on the marriage of Zeus and Hera. To discipline her, she was turned into a tortoise, thus condemning her to external silence. Her name now means tortoise in Ancient Greek.

Plants Family: Plantaginaceae 


Two Common Members of the Plants Family: Hebe scoparia, Aragoa lindenbergia 


The plant is native to Virginia. 


The Niche of the Flower: The Turtle Head plant's role in an ecosystem is to provide nectar for pollinators. Without the plant our ecosystem wouldn't provide as many medicines, and pollination for butterflies would be less. 


Medical Uses of the Plant: Abenaki women used the plant as a source of birth control. 


“Plant of the Week.” Turtlehead, Accessed 18 Sept. 2017..


Plants Profile for Chelone glabra (White turtlehead), Accessed 11 Sept. 2017.


“The Plant List — A working list for all plant species.” - The Plant List,  Accessed 10 Sept. 2017.


“Chelone obliqua.” Fine Gardening,  Accessed 21 Sept. 2017.


Chelone Glabra Herb Uses, Benefits, Cures, Side Effects, Nutrients, Accessed 21 Sept. 2017.


“Homeopathy - for Life.” Articles | Herbal Medicine | Homeopathy | Biochemic Medicine | Phylak Medicine | Digital Homeopathy | Dr Atiq,  Accessed 21 Sept. 2017.


Pollination | Cool Kid Facts,  Accessed 21 Sept. 2017.


“Chelone glabra.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Sept. 2017, Accessed 21 Sept. 2017.


Abbas. “Herbs-Treat and Taste.” WHITE TURTLE HEAD: NATIVE AMERICANS KNEW THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF WHITE TURTLEHEAD, 1 Jan. 1970, Accessed 21 Sept. 2017.


“The Smith River Sports Complex.” The Smith River Sports Complex - Virginia Is For Lovers,  Accessed 21 Sept. 2017.


“:: The Nymph: Chelone :: Picture.” Greek Mythology, Accessed 21 Sept. 2017.


“Chelone glabra - Turtlehead.” Chelone glabra - Nodding Onion Gardens,  Accessed 21 Sept. 2017.

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