Friday, September 25, 2009

100 Species Challenge #65

Specimen #65 Turtlehead

Chelone glabra

Photo by me. 2009. Living History Farms.

Chelone (rhymes with baloney) is a nymph from Greek mythology. Because of her bad behavior toward the marriage of Zeus and Hera, she was turned into a turtle and turned silent. Variations of the myth say that she took so long to be ready for the wedding feast that Zeus got angry and crashed her house over her, living the rest of her life hauling a shell around.

Most of the photos I am finding on the internet show white flowers. The only pink account I'm finding is from Illinois Wildflowers. Native. The flowers are shaped like turtleheads. Leaves are lance-like with serrated margins.

The following was kind of interesting from 2bnthewild:

Medical Uses: Chelone glabra, often referred to as "Balmony" is the species commonly mentioned as medically active. The other taxon are likely so uncommon as to not have been considered. The Cherokee used the plant to improve appetite, for fevers and worms and to treat sores. A tea from the flowers was used as a gentle laxative. Northern tribes used the plant similarly as have herbalist. In addition there are references to its use for jaundice and to prevent pregnancy

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