This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol3", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Perennial, mostly glabrous branched or simple herbs, with opposite serrate petioled leaves, and large white red or purple flowers, in terminal and axillary dense spikes. Calyx 5-parted, bracted at the base, the segments ovate or lanceolate. Corolla irregular, the tube elongated, enlarged above, the limb 2-lipped; upper lip concave, emarginate or entire, exterior in the bud; lower lip spreading, woolly within, 3-lobed, its lateral lobes sometimes longer than the middle one. Stamens 5, included, 4 of them antheriferous, didynamous, the fifth sterile, smaller; filaments slender, woolly; anthers woolly, cordate. Style filiform; stigma small, capitate. Capsule ovoid, septicidally dehiscent. Seeds numerous, compressed, winged. [Greek, tortoise, the head of which the corolla resembles.]
Three species, natives of eastern North America. Type species: Chelone glabra L. Corolla white to purplish; bracts not ciliolate.
1. C. glabra.
Lorolla red or rose-purple; bracts ciliolate. Leaves oblong or lanceolate.
2. C. obliqua.
Leaves ovate, acuminate; mountain plant.
Chelone glabra L. Sp. Pl. 611. 1753.
Stem slender, erect, obtusely 4-sided, simple or sometimes branched, strict, 1°-3° high, the branches erect. Leaves linear-lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, sharply serrate with low appressed teeth, acuminate at the apex, narrowed at the base, short-petioled, 3'-6' long, 1/2'-1 1/4' wide, the principal veins about 10 on each side of the midvein; flowers white or faintly pink, about 1' long; bracts glabrous, not ciliolate; calyx-segments ovate-oblong, obtuse; capsule ovoid, obtuse, about ¥ high, twice as long as the calyx.
In swamps and along streams, Newfoundland to Florida, Manitoba, Alabama and Kansas. Ascends to 3000 ft. in the Adirondacks. Shell-flower. Cod-head. Bitter-herb. Balmony. Salt-rheum weed. Turtle-bloom. Fish-mouth. Lower leaves sometimes broadly oval. July-Sept.
Chelone obliqua L. Syst. Ed. 11, no. 4. 1767.
Stem slender, ascending, 1°-2° high, usually branched, the branches spreading or ascending. Leaves oblong, or broadly lanceolate, acuminate at the apex, mostly narrowed at the base, petioled, sharply serrate with somewhat spreading teeth, or laciniate, 2'-6' long, i'-2i' wide; petioles 2"-6" long; principal veins about 10 on each side; flowers red or rose-purple, about 1' long; bracts and calyx-segments ciliolate and usually puberulent; capsule similar to that of the preceding species.
In wet thickets and along streams, Virginia to Illinois, south to Florida. July-Sept.
Chelone Lyoni Pursh, Fl. Am. Sept. 737. 1814.
Stem slender, erect or nearly so, simple or branched. 1°-3° high. Leaves ovate, acuminate at the apex, rounded, truncate or subcordate at the base; 3'-"' long, 1'-4' wide, usually slender-petioled, sharply serrate with divergent teeth, the principal veins 8-10 on each side; flowers red or rose-purple, about 1' long; bracts and calyx-segments ciliolate and puberulent.
In swamps and wet thickets, mountains of Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee to Georgia. July-Sept.