Bees, butterflies like turtlehead flowers
October 7, 2020
Q: I have a question about a perennial in our garden. Can you identify the plant in the attached photos, taken just a few weeks ago? – R.S., Indianapolis
A: The plant in your photos is the native perennial called turtlehead, known botanically as Chelone. There are a few different species in commerce, including C. lyonii and C. obliqua, both with pink to purplish pink flowers, and white turtlehead (C. glabra). The name of the plant comes from the flowers thought to resemble a turtle’s head.
Turtlehead prefers moist conditions, part shade, but it can adapt to sunnier locations if moisture is sufficient. Bees and butterflies are attracted to the flowers.
Some additional information on turtlehead at