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To view the articles on tortoise care, please visit the main page.  From there you can access links to articles on diet, nutrition, health and housing.

Safe Plants for Terrariums, Vivariums and Paludariums

Please access the above link to view an extensive list of plants that are safe to use in your naturalistic environments.  You will also find resources for identifying safe plants for environments and food items.


Northern Michigan Reptile and Amphibian Rescue

I strive to educate the public on the level of commitment that reptiles and amphibians require, to keep unwanted pets from being released into our environment, and to provide knowledgeable, responsible homes for unwanted pets. Please visit to learn more.


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Nutritional Values of Common Food Items

Here are charts showing some of the nutritional values of commonly fed vegetables, greens, and fruits.

Vegetable Oxalic Acid (g/100g)

Amaranth 1.09g
Asparagus .13g
Beans, Snap .36g
Beet Leaves .61g
Broccoli .19g
Brussels Sprouts .36g
Cabbage .10g
Carrot .50g
Cassava 1.26g
Cauliflower .15g
Celery .19g
Chicory .21g
Chives 1.48g
Collards .45g
Coriander .01g
Corn, Sweet .01g
Cucumbers .02
Eggplant .19g
Endive .11g
Garlic .36g
Kale .02g
Lettuce .33g
Okra .05g
Onion .05g
Parsley 1.70g
Parsnip .04g
Pea .05g
Pepper .04g
Potato .05g
Purslane 1.31g
Radish .48g
Rutabaga .03g
Spinach .97g
Squash .02g
Sweet Potato .24g
Tomato .05g
Turnip .21g
Turnip Greens .05g
Watercress .31g

Ca:P Ratio- Another very important consideration is the calcium phosphorus ratio, otherwise seen as Ca:P. The proper ratio is to be no less than 2:1. Some experts recommend raising the ratio to 5:1 using proper supplementation, such as pure calcium carbonate. Having a proper ratio in your feed is very important for calcium absorption.

Vegetable Calcium:Phosphorus Ratio

Collards 14.5:1
Spinach, Mustard 7.5:1
Turnip Greens 4.5:1
Lambsquarters 4.3:1
Dill Weed 3.2:1
Beet Greens * 3.0:1
Dandelion Greens 2.8:1
Chinese Cabbage (pak-choi) 2.8:1
Lettuce, Loose leaf 2.7:1
Mustard Greens 2.4:1
Parsley 2.4:1
Kale * 2.4:1
Chicory Greens 2.1:1
Spinach 2.0:1
Watercress 2.0:1
Cabbage 2.0:1
Endive (Escarole) 1.9:1
Celery 1.6:1
Purslane 1.5:1
Cilantro * 1.4:1
Lettuce, Butterhead (Boston, Bibb) 1.4:1
Okra 1.3:1
Swiss Chard 1.1:1
Turnip 1.1:1
Squash (Winter, all varieties) 1.0:1
Green Beans 1.0:1
Lettuce, Romaine 0.8:1
Sweet Potato 0.8:1
Rutabaga 0.8:1
Broccoli 0.7:1
Cucumber (with skin) 0.7:1
Endive, Belgian (Witloof Chicory) 0.7:1
Carrots 0.6:1
Squash (Summer, all varieties) 0.6:1
Brussels Sprouts 0.6:1
Cauliflower 0.5:1
Kohlrabi 0.5:1
Pumpkin 0.5:1
Alfalfa Sprouts 0.5:1
Parsnips 0.5:1
Peppers, Green * 0.5:1
Peppers, Red * 0.5:1
Sweet Potato Leaves 0.4:1
Beets * 0.4:1
Asparagus 0.4:1
Tomato 0.2:1
Corn, White 0.02:1

Fruit Calcium:Phosphorus Ratio
Papaya 4.8:1
Orange 2.9:1
Lime 1.8:1
Raspberries 1.8:1
Lemon (no peel) 1.6:1
Blackberries 1.5:1
Grapefruit, White 1.5:1
Grapefruit, Pink and Red 1.2:1
Tangerine 1.2:1
Pineapple 1.0:1
Pear 1.0:1
Apple (with skin) 1.0:1
Mango 0.9:1
Watermelon 0.9:1
Cherries, Sweet 0.8:1
Grapes 0.8:1
Cranberries 0.8:1
Casaba Melon 0.7:1
Apricot 0.7:1
Kiwi 0.7:1
Strawberries 0.7:1
Cantaloupe 0.6:1
Honeydew Melon 0.6:1
Blueberries 0.6:1
Persimmon 0.5:1
Raisins 0.5:1
Peach * 0.4:1
Plum 0.4:1
Nectarine 0.3:1
Banana 0.3:1

Vegetable Protein and Fat table (g/100g)
Vegetable Protein Fat
Asparagus 3g Less than 1g
Aubergine 1g Less than 1g
Beans 9g Less than 1g
Beetroot 2g Less than 1g
Broccoli 3g Less than 1g
Brussels Sprouts 3g 1.4g
Cabbage (average) 1g Less than 1g
Carrot 0.5g Less than 1g
Cauliflower 3g Less than 1g
Celery 0.5g Less than 1g
Chicory 0.6g Less than 1g
Courgette 2g Less than 1g
Cucumber 0.5 Less than 1g
Fennel 1g Less than 1g
Gherkins 1g Less than 1g
Gourd 1.5g Less than 1g
Leek 1.6g Less than 1g
Lettuce (average) 0.7g Less than 1g
Marrow 0.5g Less than 1g
Mushroom 2g Less than 1g
Okra 2.4g 1g
Onion 0.7g Less than 1g
Onion, Spring 2g Less than 1g
Parsnip 1.5g 2.3g
Peas 7g 1g
Peppers 1g Less than 1g
Potato 1.6g Less than 1g
Pumpkin 0.5g Less than 1g
Radish 0.7g Less than 1g
Spinach 2g Less than 1g
Swede 0.5g Less than 1g
Sweet corn 2.5g 1.5g
Tomatoes 2g 1g
Turnip 0.8g Less than 1g
Watercress 3g 1g
Yam 2g Less than 1g

*In some countries, foods may be known by other names. Alternate food names indicated by asterisk.

Peppers (bell)* - Capsicum
Beet Greens* - Beetroot Greens/leaves
Cilantro* - Coriander
Romaine Lettuce* - Cos Lettuce
Cantaloupe* - Rock Melon
Beets* - Beetroot
Kale* - Curly Kale

I also have a page with an extensive list of known edible plants. Another great site to visit, that contains detailed nutritional information is Nutrient Analysis of Replacement Turtle and Tortoise Foods from the World Chelonian Trust. There is also the Sulcata Station.

I know that all of this information can be very difficult for a new or prospective tortoise owner to take in all at once. Getting a tortoise is a lifetime and very detailed commitment. If at any time I can be of any help, or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me at and I will do my best to assist you. The only stupid question is the one that you don't ask, and in the end, compromises the life and health of your tortoise.