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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 2 | Ophioglossaceae | Botrychium

22. Botrychium pallidum W. H. Wagner, Amer. Fern J. 80: 74. 1990.

Pale moonwort, botryche pâle

Trophophore stalk 2--8 mm, 0--1/5 length of trophophore rachis; blade glaucous, pale green to whitish, oblong, ± longitudinally folded when alive, 1-pinnate, to 4 × 1 cm, herbaceous. Pinnae to 5 pairs, ascending, approximate, distance between 1st and 2d pinnae not or slightly more than between 2d and 3d pairs, basal pinna pair approximately equal in size and cutting to adjacent pair, fan-shaped, strongly asymmetric, lobed to divided to tip, margins entire to irregularly crenate-dentate, largest pinnae often split into 2 unequal lobes, apex rounded, venation like ribs of fan, midrib absent. Sporophores 1--2-pinnate, 1.5--4 times length of trophophore. 2 n =90.

Leaves appearing in late spring and early summer. Sporadic, mainly in open fields but also in shaded places; of conservation concern; 0--2600 m; Man., Ont., Que., Sask.; Colo., Maine, Mich.

A usually tiny plant, Botrychium pallidum is separable from dwarfed and narrow sun forms of B . minganense by the peculiar, often folded pinnae and pale green to whitish color. It has been found growing with B . campestre , B . echo , B . hesperium , B . lunaria , B . matricariifolium , B . minganense , and B . spathulatum . Its small size may cause it to be overlooked. This is one of four moonwort species that commonly produce dense clusters of minute, spheric gemmae at the root bases.


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