Botrychium virginianum (L.) Sw. - Rattlesnake Fern


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Botrychium virginianum - (image 1 of 4)



Family: Ophioglossaceae


Mesic to moist, sometimes dry, forests and shrubby second growth.




Newfoundland and Labrador to AK, south to FL and CA; also in southern Mexico, Central America, South America and Eurasia.


Plants mostly over 12 cm; leaf sheaths open; trophophore blade sessile, thin, deciduous (absent during winter), deltoid, mostly 10-30 cm, 2-4 times ternate-pinnately compound; pinnules and segments decurrent, ultimate segments acutely toothed; sporophore 2-3-pinnate, mostly 6-15 cm, on a stalk 7-20 cm.


Spores produced spring to early summer

Wetland category: NA

The largest, most common and widespread species in the genus Botrychium. Some authors place this species in the monotypic genus Botrypus and would use the name Botrypus virginianus (L.) Michx.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY


Wagner, W.H, Jr. and Wagner, F.S. 1993. Botrychium. In: Flora of North America North of
Mexico, Vol. 2. Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford.




Michael Hough 2018