Chelone Glabra is the botanical name for the WhiteTurtlehead plant. This plant serves as a primary regional host plant for the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly, Maryland’s official state insect. The Fountain Rock Nature Center is hoping to develop a colony of this host plant in the park for the butterfly. This plant is in the Snapdragon or Figwort family; found in moist to wet soils with a tolerance for some dry periods. The flowers are creamy white and resemble turtleheads and snapdragon blooms. The turtlehead is a wildflower with attractive shiny dark green leaves growing 2-4 feet high. They are food for birds and butterflies. The white turtlehead is to the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly as the milkweed is to our national insect, the Monarch butterfly.
The Fountain Rock Nature Center is hoping , with your help, to develop several colonies within the park to encourage a healthy Baltimore Checkerspot habitat and after the habitat is established the larvae will be introduced and the life cycle will begin!
Donations of healthy plants would be gratefully accepted from groups and/or individuals interested in this endeavor. Please contact Fountain Rock Nature Center at 301-898-1460.
Article written by Dawne Howard.
Photograph of Chelone Glabra by SB_Johnny, used under creative commons license. Photograph of Baltimore Checkerspot by D. Gordon E. Robertson, used under creative commons license.