Botrychium lunaria — common moonwort
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New England distribution
Adapted from BONAP data
Non-native: introduced (intentionally or unintentionally); has become naturalized.
County documented: documented to exist in the county by evidence (herbarium specimen, photograph). Also covers those considered historical (not seen in 20 years).
State documented: documented to exist in the state, but not documented to a county within the state. Also covers those considered historical (not seen in 20 years).
Note: when native and non-native populations both exist in a county, only native status is shown on the map.
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Although it is called common moonwort, this fern is rare in New England, with a few widely-separated populations in white cedar forests and swamp margins, and in meadows along the coast.
Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields, wetland margins (edges of wetlands)
- New England state
- Features of leaves
- there are no special features on the leaves
- New England state
- Specific habitat
- edges of wetlands
- man-made or disturbed habitats
- meadows or fields
Usually occurs in wetlands, but occasionally in non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACW)
New England distribution and conservation status
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.
- extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
- historical (S-rank: SH)
Native to North America?
Sometimes confused with
- Botrychium minganense:
- leaflets of the vegetative portion remote, usually cuneate to narrow-flabellate or orbicular, with the apical lobes only slightly reduced and of relatively similar shape to the medial lobes, and medial lobes 1-9 mm wide (vs. B. lunaria, with leaflets of vegetative portion overlapping to approximate, usually broad-flabellate, with the apical lobes often greatly reduced in size and of a different shape than the medial lobes, and medial 6-18 mm wide on well-formed plants)
- Botrychium lunaria (L.) Sw. var. onondagense (Underwood) House
- Botrychium onondagense Underwood
- Osmunda lunaria L.
From the dichotomous key of Flora Novae Angliae
5. Botrychium lunaria (L.) Sw. NC
common moonwort. Botrychium lunaria (L.) Sw. var. onondagense (Underwood) House; B. onondagense Underwood; Osmunda lunaria L. • ME; also reported from NH by Magee and Ahles (1999) and from VT by Wagner and Wagner (1993), but specimens are unknown; highly disjunct locations in ME. Forests, swamp margins, meadows. Gilman (2002) discussed the many erroneous reports of Botrychium lunaria from VT. Shade forms of this species are frequently confused with B. minganense. That species usually has elongate trophophore stalks (i.e., equal to or longer than the distance between the lowest pairs of leaflets) and basal leaflets that are nearly of similar size to medial leaflets. Botrychium lunaria, on the other hand, has sessile or short-stalked trophophores (i.e., the trophophore stalk is shorter than the distance between the lowest pairs of leaflets), and the basal leaflets are often noticeably larger than the medial leaflets.