Food plant for Baltimore butterfly.
The distinctive shape of this flower is reflected in the genus name, derived from the Greek chelone (a tortoise). (Wild Flower Centre, LBJ)
Habitat Information: Habitats are part shade or open woods in floodplain areas, wet thickets, marshland, wet prairies, sedge dominated, full sun, moist meadows, seeps, springs, and acid fens. It is an indicator species of fens, but tolerates slightly alkaline ground water of many other habitats. The plant is avoided by deer, and other foragers because of its bitterness. (Illinois Wildflowers)
Garden Uses: Turtlehead is a smaller wetland plant, which has white flowers that are rounded at the top, like a turtle head with an open mouth. (Johnson, L., The new Ontario Naturalized Garden, 1999)
Turtlehead is a nice plant for a part shade to full sun garden as long as the soil is moist to normal, and does not dry out. This plant is also a great choice in a wet, and full sun or part shade pond garden, downspout gardens, or for use in bioswales or stormwater ponds, where water is captured and held to create periodic or constant wet conditions. (Evergreen)
Insect Relationships: Attracts bumble bees and it is the preferred host plant of the Baltimore butterfly caterpillar, an uncommon butterfly. (Illinois Wildflowers)
Traditional Edible, Medicinal Uses: Makes tea that tastes much like black tea, and is a liver and digestive tonic. It has been important in North American folk medicine, not proven in modern medicine. Herb is thought to have antidepressant and laxative effects. The whole herb in a decoction is antibilious, aperient, appetizer, cathartic, cholagogue, detergent, tonic, and vermifuge. Has been used internally for consumption, debility, liver disease, nausea, vomiting, intestinal colic, worm expelling. Has been used for benefit with anorexia nervosa as digestive tonic. Applied to piles, inflamed tumours, ulcers etc. The plant is picked when flowering and dried. (Plants for a Future)
CanPlant assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the contents of the database. While most entries are accurate, errors may occur. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information and we are not responsible for any errors in the information or for any adverse effects relating to the use of the plants or the information. If you notice a problem with the information, please let us know by sending an email so we can correct it.