The blade of Botrypus virginianus is broadly triangular
and usually more than 10 cm wide, the blades of larger plants
attaining a width of up to 30 cm. The fertile branch is attached
directly below the base of the blade and both blade and fertile
branch are held well above the ground. In some cases many or all
individuals at a location are sterile and, especially under heavy
canopy, some individuals may produce smaller blades than described
above. Such plants may still be recognized by the broadly triangular
blade held clearly above the ground.
Habitat includes a wide variety of forests from conifer swamps
to relatively dry upland deciduous forests. It is distributed
widely across Canada and is found in all of continental United
States except for California. Botrypus virginianus is
the most common species of the genus in Wisconsin and is found
throughout the state.