Stems slender, smooth, erect and stiff, 1 to 3 feet high from a perennial root, simple or with erect or ascending branches. Leaves opposite, short petioled, linear-lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, with sharply toothed margins, the principal veins rather prominent. Flowers 1 to 11/2 inches long, white or slightly pinkish, crowded in a dense terminal spike and often a few in the upper axils. Calyx five-parted, segments ovate-oblong, with smooth bracts at the base. Corolla irregular, tubular, inflated and two-lipped; upper lip arched, concave, entire or slightly notched and covering the lower lip while the flower is immature; under lip three-lobed, spreading in maturity and woolly within. Stamens five, only four of which bear anthers, the sterile one smaller. Fruit an ovoid capsule about one-half of an inch high.

In swamps, wet meadows, along streams and in low, wet woods, Newfoundland to Florida, west to Alabama, Kansas and Manitoba. Flowering from July to September.

Memoir 15 N. Y. State Museum

Plate 197 turtlehead; snakehead; balmony - Chelone glabra

turtlehead; snakehead; balmony   Chelone glabra