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Chelone glabra: Wikis


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white turtlehead
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Chelone
Species: C. glabra
Binomial name
Chelone glabra

Chelone glabra (white turtlehead) is a plant in the family Plantaginaceae (the plantain family).



Chelone glabra is a herbaceous plant found in wetlands and riparian forests [1] of eastern North America with opposite, simple leaves, on stout, upright stems. The flowers are white, borne in late summer and early fall. It can be used as a method of birth control, as used by Abenaki people.

Its native range extends from Georgia to Newfoundland and Labrador and from Mississippi to Manitoba.[2]

It is the primary plant that the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly will lay its eggs on (although the butterfly to some extent will use a few other species).[3][4]

C. glabra is also a foodplant for the sawflies Macrophya nigra (Norton) and Tenthredo grandis (Norton) (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae), (Stamp, 1984).[5]

A flea beetle in the genus Dibolia (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) has also been shown to feed on C. glabra (Wilcox, 1979).[6]

Use as indicator of deer browse in riparian forests

Chelone glabra is a popular browse plant for deer, although certain other plants such as Eurybia divaricata (white wood aster), Symphyotrichum prenanthoides (crooked-stem aster), and Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed) are even more preferred by deer. In measuring damage to plants as a way of finding out the level of deer browsing, it is more effective to use a collection of deer browse species rather than just one.[1]


  1. ^ a b Williams, C (2000). "Use of turtlehead (Chelone glabra L.) and other herbaceous plants to assess intensity of white-tailed deer browsing on Allegheny Plateau riparian forests, USA". Biological Conservation 92: 207. doi:10.1016/S0006-3207(99)00054-3.  
  2. ^ "Chelone glabra". PLANTS.  
  3. ^ M. Deane Bowers, Nancy E. Stamp and Sharon K. Collinge (Apr 1992), "Early Stage of Host Range Expansion by a Specialist Herbivore, Euphydryas Phaeton (Nymphalidae)", Ecology 73 (2): 526–536, doi:10.2307/1940758  
  4. ^ Euphydryas phaeton (Drury, 1773), Butterflies and Moths of North America
  5. ^ Stamp, N.E.. 1984. Effect of defoliation by checkerspot caterpillars (Euphydryas phaeton) and sawfly larvae (Macrophya nigra and Tenthredo grandis) on their host plants (Chelone spp.). Oecologia 63, 275–280.
  6. ^ Wilcox, J.A., 1979. Leaf beetle host plants in northeastern North America. World Natural History Publications, Kinderhook, NY.

Further reading

External links



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