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CollinsiaClassification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Lamiales

Familia: Plantaginaceae
Tribus: Cheloneae
Genus: Chelone
Species: C. caeruleum – C. cuthbertii – C. glabra – C. lyonii – C. obliqua

Chelone L., Sp. Pl. 2: 611. (1753)

Type species: Chelone glabra L. Sp. Pl. 2: 611. (1753)


Chlonanthus Raf., Princ. Fond. Somiol. 26. (1814)


Chelone R.L. [Reichenbach], 1817, genus (Animalia, Lepidoptera) = Apoda Haworth, 1809


Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus II: 611. Reference page.
The Plant List 2013. Chelone in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2014 May 31. 2014. Chelone. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2014 May 31.
International Plant Names Index. 2014. Chelone. Published online. Accessed: May 31 2014.
Farr, E. R. & Zijlstra, G. eds. (1996-) Index Nominum Genericorum (Plantarum) (2010) June 22 [1].

Vernacular names
English: Turtlehead
suomi: Konnanyrtit
svenska: Sköldpaddsörtssläktet

Chelone is a genus of four[1] species of perennial herbaceous plants native to eastern North America.[1][2] They all have similarly shaped flowers (which led to the name turtlehead due to their resemblance to the head of a turtle), which vary in color from white to red, purple or pink.[1] Chelone cuthbertii, C. glabra, and C. lyonii are diploid and C. obliqua is either tetraploid or hexaploid, depending on their slight differences in morphology and localities.[1]


Chelone is derived from Greek meaning ‘turtle-like’, in reference to its turtle head-shaped corollas.[3]
Relationships to other plants

The closest relative of Chelone is Nothochelone from western North America.[1] [3] [6] Nothochelone nemerosa is the species most closely related to the genus [3] [6]. Chelone is more closely related to it than to other members of the family such as snapdragons, plantains, and foxglove.[4]

Chelone glabra is the most widely distributed species of the genus: from Georgia to Newfoundland and from Mississippi to Manitoba;[5] [5] [6] the other three are found in more restricted areas.

Chelone cuthbertii is found in two areas: the Blue Ridge of North Carolina and the coastal plain of Virginia.[1] [5] [6]

Chelone lyonii is found in the Blue Ridge of Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina.[1] [5] [6]

Chelone obliqua is found as tetraploids in the Blue Ridge, or hexaploids in two areas: Tennessee to Arkansas and Michigan, or the Atlantic coastal plain from South Carolina to Maryland.[1] [5] [6]

The relationship between the different populations is complicated and it appears that C. obliqua in fact has arisen several times from diploid ancestors of the other three species.[1] [5] [6] The four species seem to have diverged recently.[1] [5] [6]

Allan D. Nelson; Wayne J. Elisens (1999). "Polyploid evolution and biogeography in Chelone (Scrophulariaceae): morphological and isozyme evidence". American Journal of Botany. Botanical Society of America. 86 (10): 1487–1501. doi:10.2307/2656929. JSTOR 2656929. PMID 10523288.
USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Chelone". The PLANTS Database ( Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team.
Gledhill, David (2008). "The Names of Plants". Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521866453 (hardback), ISBN 9780521685535 (paperback). pp 103, 276
Olmstead, R. G.; dePamphilis, C. W.; Wolfe, A. D.; Young, N. D.; Elisons, W. J. & Reeves P. A. (2001). "Disintegration of the Scrophulariaceae". American Journal of Botany. Botanical Society of America. 88 (2): 348–361. doi:10.2307/2657024. JSTOR 2657024. PMID 11222255.

USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Chelone glabra". The PLANTS Database ( Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team.

A. D. Nelson. 2012. Chelone. Flora of North America
NELSON, A.D. 1995. Polyploid evolution in Chelone (Scrophulariaceae). Ph.D. dissertation, University of. Oklahoma, Norman.
Chelone L. Plants of the World Online
Accepted species Plants of the World Online

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