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Botrychium lunaria

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About Common Moonwort (Botrychium lunaria) Botrychium lunaria is a species of fern known by the common name moonwort or common moonwort. It is the most widely distributed moonwort, growing throughout the Northern Hemisphere across Eurasia and from Alaska to Greenland, as well as parts of the Southern Hemisphere including South America and Australia. This is a small plant growing from an underground caudex and sending one fleshy, dark green leaf above the surface of the ground. The leaf is 6 to 10 centimeters tall and is divided into a sterile and a fertile part. The sterile part of the leaf has 4 to 9 pairs of fan-shaped leaflets. The fertile part of the leaf is very different in shape, with rounded, grapelike clusters of sporangia by which it reproduces.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
0.2 - 1 ft (0.06 - 0.3 m)


Growth Rate

Native Status
Natural Setting
Elevation ?
6772' - 11840'

Annual Precip. ?
13.4" - 53.0"

Summer Precip. ?
1.22" - 2.77"

Coldest Month ?
21.3° F - 32.5° F

Hottest Month ?
42.6° F - 61.4° F

Humidity ?
1.50 vpd - 18.00 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers sandy or loamy soils. Does not grow well in clay soils.

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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