Monographs Details: Botrychium
Authority: Mickel, John T. & Smith, Alan R. 2004. The pteridophytes of Mexico. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 88: 1-1054.
Description:Genus Description - Terrestrial; stem subterranean, erect, fleshy; roots thick, fleshy;fronds mostly one (rarely two), with two distinct parts: a spreadingpinnately to ternately divided sterile blade (sometimes calledtrophophore), with free veins, and an erect fertile portion (sometimescalled sporophore), 2–3 times divided, each sporophorestalked and terminated by a panicle-like sporangial cluster, usuallyexceeding the sterile blade in length, arising from base ofthe sterile blade or lower on stipe, sometimes at or below groundlevel; sporangia large, globose, opening by a horizontal slit; sporestetrahedral, one thousand to several thousand per sporangium;gametophytes subterranean, whitish or brownish, mycorrhizal,non-green; x=45.
Sceptridium Lyon, Bot. Gaz. 40: 457. 1905. Lectotype (chosen by Clausen,
1938: 24): Sceptridium obliquum (Muhl. ex Willd.) Lyon [= Botrychium obliquum
Muhl. ex Willd.] = Botrychium dissectum Spreng. f. obliquum (Muhl. ex
Botrychium sect. Osmundopteris Milde, Verh. K. K. Zool.-Bot. Ges.-Wien
19: 96. 1896. Botrychium subg. Osmundopteris (Milde) R. T. Clausen, Mem.
Torrey Bot. Club 19(2): 93. 1938. Osmundopteris (Milde) Small, Ferns S.E.
States 377, 482. 1938. Type: Botrychium virginianum (L.) Sw. [=Osmunda virginiana
Botrypus Michx., Fl. Bor.-Amer. 2: 274. 1803. Type: Botrypus virginianus
(L.) Mich. [= Osmunda virginiana L.] = Botrychium virginianum (L.) Sw.
Botrychium comprises about 60 species, largely of temperate
regions, usually growing in pastures, grassy meadows, and open
second-growth woodlands, often in areas of disturbance.
There is considerable variation in frond size and dissection,
and this variation is further confounded by the tendency to form
“genus communities” with two or three species present in a population.
Twenty new species have been recently described in
North America, showing that much work is needed for a full
understanding of the genus. Highland pastures and grassy road
shoulders should be searched for more populations of these unusual
plants. For studies of variation, all fronds should be taken,
leaving the underground stems unharmed to produce new
fronds the following season.