Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Chelone obliqua L.
- Family: Figwort (Scrophulariaceae)
- Flowering: August-October
- Field Marks: This turtlehead is distinguished by its purple to purple-pink flowers and its
distinctly stalked, lanceolate leaves.
- Habitat: Swamps, wet woods.
- Habit: Perennial herb from thickened rootstocks.
- Stems: Upright, branched or unbranched, smooth, up to 2 1/4 feet tall.
- Leaves: Opposite, simple, lanceolate to narrowly oblong, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, toothed, smooth, up to 5 inches long, up to 2 inches wide; stalks winged, smooth, 1/4-3/4 inch long.
- Flowers: Several in terminal and axillary spikes, purple to purple-pink, sessile or nearly so.
- Sepals: 5, green, united at the base, smooth.
- Petals: 5, purple to purple-pink, 2-lipped, up to 1 1/2 inches long, the upper lip arched, notched at the tip, the lower lip 3-lobed, yellow-hairy inside.
- Stamens: 4, attached to the base of the tube of the petals.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, smooth.
- Fruits: Capsules ovoid, smooth, 1/2-3/4 inch long, containing numerous, flat seeds.
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