This dweller of wet situations takes most of its common names from the fancied resemblance of its flowers to the various subjects which it seems to have suggested. It is a rather common and familiar perennial herb, growing from one to three feet high. The leaves are said to be tonic, and to have been used as a remedy for liver complaints. The leafy, hollow stem is sometimes branched, and is erect, smooth, and square, with two opposite sides grooved. The sharply toothed, lance-shaped leaves taper to a long point, and are narrowed at the base. They are set upon the stalk in alternating, opposite pairs, with short stems, and their surface is creased with recurved veins. The large flowers are white, usually tinged with pink, and are closely crowded in a dense terminal cluster. The irregular corolla is broadly tubular and two-lipped. The broad, arched upper lip is creased and notched in the middle. The lower lip is three-lobed at the apex, with the middle lobe smallest. The throat is filled with woolly hairs. The dark, woolly stamens scarcely peek from beneath the upper arch of the partly gaping lips. The five-parted green calyx is surrounded with broader, leafy bracts. The Turtle-head is found from July to September, and ranges from Newfoundland to Florida, and west to Manitoba and Kansas.
TURTLEHEAD. Chelone glabra.