Description from Flora of China
Botrypus Michaux; Japanobotrychum Masamune; Sceptridium Lyon.
Plants terrestrial or in rocky crevices, evergreen or winter-green. Rhizome short, erect, dictyostelic, glabrous or hairy, hairs long, non-septate; gemmae absent or minute, spherical, apex hairy. Roots occasionally laterally branching, yellowish to black, smooth or with corky ridges, not proliferous. Fronds 1(or 2) per stem. Common stipe thick, fleshy, glabrous or hairy. Sterile lamina ascending or perpendicular to common stipe, sessile or stalked; lamina [simple or] 1-4[or 5]-pinnate, linear, oblong, or deltoid; pinnae (reduced to segments in many species) spreading to ascending, fan-shaped to lanceolate or linear, margin entire to dentate or lacerate, apex rounded or acute; veins free, arranged like ribs of fan or pinnate. Sporophores normally 1 per frond, 1-3-pinnate, long stalked, borne at ground level to high on common stipe. Sporangia sessile to shortly stalked, almost completely exposed, large, globose, glabrous, dehiscing by 2 valves, borne in 2 rows along pinnate branches (except in very small plants). Spore surface rugate, tuberculate, baculate, sometimes joined in delicate network. Gametophytes not green, broadly ovate, unbranched. x = (44), 45, (46).
Botrychium has been separated into four genera, often treated as subgenera: Botrychium, Botrypus (=B. subg. Osmundopteris (Milde) R. T. Clausen), Japanobotrychum, and Sceptridium; here, all the species are treated in a single genus.
Classification mainly follows Zou and Wagner (Amer. Fern J. 78: 122-135. 1988). Reviewer Don Farrar notes that many additional species in Botrychium subg. Botrychium have been described since the Zou and Wagner treatment and since Wagner and Wagners treatment in Flora of North America (2: 86-101. 1993), resulting in 14 diploid species (n = 45), 16 tetraploid species (n = 90), and one hexaploid species (n = 135) in North America, plus one additional diploid and one additional tetraploid in Europe for a total of 32 species worldwide. In North America, Farrar also accepts Botrychium, Botrypus, and Sceptridium as distinct genera, following the recommendations of Kato (Gard. Bull. Singapore 40: 1-14. 1987) and Hauk et al. (Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 28: 131-151. 2003).
Ching et al. (FRPS 2: 22-23. 1959) accepted Botrychium multifidum (S. G. Gmelin) Ruprecht (Beitr. Pflanzenk. Russ. Reiches 11: 40. 1859; Osmunda multifida S. G. Gmelin, Novi Comment. Acad. Sci. Imp. Petrop. 12: 517. 1768; Botrychium matricariae (Schrank) Sprengel; O. matricariae Schrank) for NE China; however, Zou and Wagner (loc. cit.: 133) noted that no Chinese specimens of B. multifidum were cited and that true B. multifidum occurs in N North America and NW Asia-NE Europe.
Japanobotrychum arisanense Masamune (J. Soc. Trop. Agric. Formosa 3: 246. 1931), the type of Japanobotrychum, was described from Taiwan.
Between 50 and 60 species: nearly worldwide; 12 species in China.
(Authors: Zhang Xianchun (张宪春); Norio Sahashi)