Botrychium lanceolatum

Lance Leaf Grape Fern

Lance Leaf Grape Fern, Photo Courtesy USDA Plants Database
Lance Leaf Grape Fern
Photo Courtesy USDA Plants Database

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Name:

  • Botrychium, from the Greek botrus (botrys), "grape"; the Grape Ferns
  • lanceolatum, from the Latin lancea, "lance"; lance-shaped
  • Common Name, from the narrow, pointed shape of the leaf segments
  • Other common names include: Triangle Grape Fern, Triangle Moonwort, Narrow Triangle Moonwort, Botryche lancéolé (Qué), Botrychium à feuilles lancéolées, Botrychium lancéolé, Botrychium élancé (Fr), Topplåsbräken, Handlåsbräken, Spetsbladig Låbräken (Swe), Handmarinøkkel (Nor), Suikeanoidanlukko (Fin), Lensutungljurt (Is), Lanzett-Mondraute (Ger), Miyamahanawarabi (Jpn)

Taxonomy:

  • Kingdom Plantae, the Plants
    • Division Polypodiophyta, the True Ferns
      • Class Filicopsida
        • Order Ophioglossales
          • Family Ophioglossaceae, the Adder's Tongue or Succulent Ferns
            • Genus Botrychium, the Grape Ferns
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 17178
  • Twelve species of Grape Fern (Botrychium spp.) occur in Canoe Country, all but Rattlesnake Fern (Botrychium virginianum) being rare or extremely rare. These are woodland jewels, rarely seen.

Description:

  • A stout, rather fleshy little grape fern of cool moist woods, growing 4"-6" tall. Individuals tend to be inconspicuous and scattered.
  • Sterile Frond a single leaf, broadly triangular and high on stalk, about 1" long, twice cut, and semi-erect, resembling daisy leaf in shape; dark green, smooth, and fleshy. Leaves appear in late spring or early summer, dying as late as October.
  • Fertile frond rises above leaf with erect, branched clusters. Yellow spore cases prominent. Spores borne May/June.
  • Stalk pale green, slender, succulent, and fragile; about 4" long
  • Rootstalk small, upright.
    • Roots smooth, fleshy, and spreading; in deeply rooted, tangled masses.

Identification:

  • Identifiable as a Grape Fern by its diminutive size, succulent stem, and single leaf.
  • Distinguished from other small Grape Ferns by the broadly triangular leaf attached high on the stem, looking rather like a miniature Rattlesnake Fern (Botrychium virginianum)
  • Field Marks
    • diminutive size
    • succulent stem
    • single broadly triangular leaf high on stem
    • branched clusters on fertile frond

Distribution:

  • Canadian Rockies south into Northwestern Montana. Ontario to Newfoundland, south to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. Also Eurasia.
  • At the western edge of its range in Minnesota, where it is Listed as threatened. In northeastern Minnesota, collected only from St. Louis County.

Habitat:

  • Shaded woods with acid soils.

Fire:

Associates:

History:

Uses:

Reproduction:

  • Reproduces by spores

Propagation:

  • By spores (difficult)

Cultivation:

  • Hardy to USDA Zone 3 (average minimum annual temperature -40ºF)
  • Not generally cultivated.

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Last Updated on 26 February, 2004