Kentucky Nature Preserves Rare Plants

Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission

Rose Turtlehead
Chelone obliqua var. speciosa
Family: Scrophulariaceae

Protection Status:
State Status:  S
USFWS Status: {null}

Global Rank: G4T3
State Rank: S3

Flooplain and alluvial forests, swamps and sloughs.

Species Description:
Perennial herb.

Flowering Period: Mid August to late October.

Additional Information at NatureServe

Diagnostic Characteristics:
This species of turtlehead is distinguished from the common species in having purple pink flowers. There are two varieties associated with this species and var speciosa has upper bracts obtuse rather than narrow and/or acuminate (long-pointed). The sepals are strongly ciliolate whereas the other variety has fewer cilia on the sepals. The two varieties are geographically separated and variety speciosa occurs in western Kentucky.

Changes in moisture/hydrologic conditions of the habitat for this species would likely be detrimental. Changes could result from overstory removal, stream/wetland alteration or impacts due to erosion or soil deposition. Exotic pest plants are a potential threat to this species.

Global Range:
Current range includes northeastern and southeastern Missouri, southern Illinois and Indiana, and western Kentucky, plus a disjunct site(s) in Michigan. Historical occurrences in Minnesota, Iowa, and Arkansas.

Known Kentucky Occurrences:

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Data last updated: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission
801 Teton Trail
Frankfort,KY 40601
Phone: (502) 573-2886
Fax: (502) 573-2355
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