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Home » Plant infomation

Chelone glabra  L.


Botanical Name


Chelone glabra L.

English Name


Balmony, Snakehead, Turtlehead, Turtlebloom, Shellflower, Salt-rheum weed



Chelone chlorantha Pennell & Wherry, Chelone montana (Raf.) Pennell & Wherry





General Info


A perennial, smooth, herbaceous plant, with a simple, erect, somewhat 4-sided stem, about 2 or 3 feet high. The leaves are opposite, sessile, or nearly so, smooth, oblong-lanceolate, acuminate, serrate, and of a dark, shining green above. The flowers are large, inodorous, white, rose color, or purple, subsessile, in a short, terminal, dense spike, somewhat resembling the head of a snake or tortoise; the corolla is inflated, bilabiate, and contracted at the mouth; the upper lip is broad and arched, and keeled in the middle; the one woolly within; the calyx is deeply 5-parted, with 3 bracts at the base. Stamens 4, with hairy filaments and hairy, cordate anthers, a fifth sterile filament smaller than the others; ovary ovate; style long, exsert, and bending downward. The fruit is an oval, 2-celled 2-valved capsule, with many small, wing-margined seeds.

Herb Effects

Anti-depressant, laxative, antibilious, aperient, appetizer, cathartic, cholagogue, detergent, tonic, vermifuge (herb).


Plants for a Future
King's American Dispensatory



Medicinal Use

For the liver, digestive system, debility, diseases of the liver, gallbladder problems, gallstones, to relieve nausea and vomiting, intestinal colic and to expel worms, as a soothing ointment to piles, inflamed tumours, irritable ulcers, inflamed breasts etc (herb).



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