Botrychium lunaria (Linnaeus) Schwartz
common moonwort
Family: Ophioglossaceae

Botrychium lunaria is another of the small "moonwort" species in this taxonomically difficult genus. Plants are often less than about 4 inches tall, but occasionally may be up to twice that tall. The pinnae are broadly fan shaped. On sunny sites the pinnae are usually close together and conspicuously overlapping, but in shade the pinnae can be more distant and not overlapping at all. The plants appear early in the growing season and the aerial portions often die by mid-summer.

Botrychium lunaria is distributed across Canada and the northern United States, extending south in the Rocky Mountains to Arizona. In Wisconsin it is listed as "endangered" and is known from only a few sites in Door County and in the area near Lake Superior.

Key to Ferns

Introduction to Ferns

Glossary of terms

List of all Pteridophytes

Explanation of page features

Contact the author