Botrychium dissectum Spreng. - Cut-leaf Grape Fern
Family - Ophioglossaceae
Stems - No info. yet.
Leaves - No info. yet.
Inflorescence - No info. yet.
Flowers - Absent.
Close-up of fertile frond and sporangia.
Flowering - August - November.
Habitat - Bottoms, ravines, occasionally in dry woods and thickets.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - This species can be found throughout Missouri and is fairly common.
There are 4 species of Botrychium in Missouri. Two species, B. virginianum (L.) Sw. and B. campestre W.H. Wagner & Farrar, are easy to identify in the field. B. dissectum and B. biternatum can be very difficult to distinguish. B. dissectum leaves have a tendency to turn a reddish-bronze color in the fall. The leaves of B. biternatum typically do not. Fortunately for us here in Missouri, B. biternatum is restricted to the extreme southeast corner of the state.
B. dissectum also has a form with finely divided leaves, this is form dissectum and is not quite as common as form obliquum, which is pictured above.
Here are two young plants of both forms growing side by side:
Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 10-12-02 and in Rogers, AR., 8-8-03.