Botrychium hesperium (Maxon& Clausen) W.H. Wagner & Lellinger
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Family: Ophioglossaceae
Genus: Botrychium
Species Synonyms: Botrychium lunaria ssp. occidentale A. & D. Löve & Kapoor
Botrychium matricariifolium var. hesperium (Maxon & Clausen) Broun
Botrychium matricariifolium ssp. hesperium Maxon & Clausen
Common Names: western moonwort
western chamomile-leaved grapefern
Canada: southern Alberta – central Saskatchewan, western Ontario
Saskatchewan: southwestern and east-central Saskatchewan; Cypress Hills, Porcupine Hills – Reindeer Lake
Ecoregion: Churchill River Upland, Mid-Boreal Lowland, Cypress Upland
Saskatchewan: open woods, dry bogs, grassland depressions, moist prairie, lake shores and north-facing outcrops
Associated Species: Carex aurea, Halenia deflexa, Parnassia palustris
Provincial Status According
to Harms (2003):
Nature Conservancy Status:
G3 S1
Saskatchewan Species at
Risk Status:
Botrychium hesperium is threatened in Saskatchewan because it is rare and is limited to two, disjunct regions of the province. The populations are almost always locally sparse. No immediate threats have been identified for this species.
Height: < 15 cm
Stipes: basal sheaths enclosing bud
Fronds: solitary, sterile blade sessile or short-stalked, stalk to 1/4 length of blade, blade to 5 cm long and 4 cm wide, oblong to linear to deltate, 1 – 2 times pinnate, dull greyish-green; pinnae on sterile blade up to 6 pairs, ascending, approximate or overlapping, distance between first and second pinnae equal to or slightly larger than distance between second and third pairs, basal pinnae larger and more divided than second pair; fertile blade 2 – 3 times as long as the sterile blade, 1 – 3 times pinnate, with one main axis
Sporangia: borne laterally on branches, globose
Spores: small, yellow
1 Sterile blades 5 – 25 cm long, deltate, 2 – 4 times pinnately compound; fertile blades may be absent; plants over 12 cm tall
1 Sterile blades 2 – 5 cm long or absent, oblong to linear or deltate, simple to pinnate or pinnatifed; fertile blades always present; plants generally less than 15 cm tall
2 Sterile blades thin; sheaths on stipe open; fertile blades, when present, arising from high on common stalk; common stalk usually longer than 10 cm, glabrous
B. virginianum
2 Sterile blades herbaceous or thick to leathery; sheaths on stipe closed; sporophores, when present, arising from the basal portion of the common stalk; common stalk less than 8 cm long, somewhat hairy
B. multifidum
3 Sterile blades linear to oblong, simple to lobed; plants in deep shade under shrubs and trees
B. simplex
3 Sterile blades linear to deltate, pinnate or absent; plants usually in exposed sites
4 Distance between first and second pinnae greater than that between second and third pairs
B. simplex
4 Distance between first and second pinnae equal to or slightly more than between second and third pairs
5 Sterile blades present, basal pinnae fan-shaped to spatulate, midrib absent
5 Sterile may be replaced by fertile blade, basal pinnae oblanceolate to linear to ovate, midrib present
6 Sterile blades ovate to deltate
B. simplex
6 Sterile blades oblong to lanceolate
7 Sterile blades thick and leathery, dark greyish-green to yellowish; basal pinnae broadly fan-shaped
B. lunaria
7 Sterile blades thin (except B. campestre), dark to light green or yellowish; basal pinnae narrowly fan-shaped or cuneate to linear
8 Sterile blades folded longitudinally, up to 5 pairs of pinnae; plants of prairies or meadows
B. campestre
8 Sterile blades flat or folded only at the base, up to 10 pairs of pinnae; plants of woodlands
B. minganense
9 Sterile blade replaced by fertile blade, resulting in two fertile blades
B. paradoxum
9 Sterile blade present, distinct from fertile blade
10 Sterile blades subsessile, blades deltate; fertile blades divided equally several times, about equal to 2.5 times longer than sterile blades
B. lanceolatum
10 Sterile blades ovate to oblong or deltate; fertile blades with one main axis, 2 – 4 times longer than sterile blades
11 Sterile blade long-stalked, stalk equal to length of blade; few sporangia may be present on the basal pinnae of sterile blade
B. pedunculosum
11 Sterile blade sessile to short-stalked, stalk less than ¼ length of blade; sporangia never present on basal pinnae of sterile blade
B. hesperium