E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Botrychium lunaria (L.) Sw.
common moonwort
Ophioglossaceae (Adder's-tongue family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jeremy Gatten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #25252)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Botrychium lunaria
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Species Information

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Deciduous perennial, 2-20 cm tall.
1- to 2-pinnate, 0.8-2 times length of trophophores.
Oblong, unstalked or short stalked, 1-pinnate, up to 12 cm long; pinnae up to 10 pairs, overlapping, semicircular, entire or sometimes undulate or rarely slightly toothed.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to moist woods, meadows, grassy slopes and heath from the montane to alpine zones; infrequent in BC; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to ME, PA, MI, WI, MN, ND, NM, AZ and CA; Eurasia, Australia, New Zealand, Patagonia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Botrychium lunaria

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 55 1450 2541
Slope Gradient (%) 0 28 230
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
6 168 340
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(4), BAFA(5), BWBS(4), CWH(2), ESSF(33), ICH(6), IDF(3), IMA(2), MH(1), MS(4), SBPS(6), SBS(9), SWB(6)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Botrychium lunaria subsp. lunaria
Botrychium lunaria subsp. occidentale A. Löve & D. Löve & Kapoor
Botrychium lunaria var. onondagense (Underw.) House
Botrychium onondagense Underw.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References