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Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Botrychium lunaria

Botrychium lunaria (L.) Sw.

Common Moonwort

Ophioglossaceae (Adder's-Tongue Family)

Synonym(s): Botrychium lunaria var. onondagense, Botrychium onondagense


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N), GL (N), SPM (N)

The small size and short life of the frond probably cause this plant to be overlooked, but it has become very rare in recent decades and may no longer be present. (Ferns of Grey & Bruce Counties)


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Fern
Leaf Shape: Oblong
Leaf Margin: Entire , Undulate
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green , Brown
Bloom Notes: Sporangial clusters with sessile or short-stalked sporangia resembling a bunch of grapes borne on long-stalked sporophores.


USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , ID , ME , MI , MN , MT , ND , NH , NM , NV , NY , OR , PA , SD , UT , VT , WA , WI , WY
Canada: NL , NS , ON , PE
Native Habitat: Savanna,Prairie/Meadow/Field

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Botrychium lunaria in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Botrychium lunaria in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Botrychium lunaria


Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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