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Click to read about the Botrychium genus and to find links to more information about Botrychiums.

Botrychium hesperium

Botrychium hesperium (Western Moonwort)
Ophioglossaceae (Adder's Tongue Family)

Montane, subalpine. Meadows, disturbed areas. Summer.
Molas Pass, August 18, 2011.

Botrychium hesperium is distinguished by its slightly stalked trophophore, ovate (not parallel-sided) basal pinnae which are asymmetrically enlarged on the lower side, and by the often entire or shallowly dissected pinnae above the basal pair.  As clear as this may sound, in real life it is not.  The species can be quite difficult to distinguish from the very similar B. pinnatum.

Botrychium hesperium was at first named Botrychium matricarifolium subsp. hesperium by Maxon & Clausen. Wagner & Lellinger renamed it Botrychium hesperium.

Click for Don Farrar's page on B. hesperium

Botrychium hesperium

Botrychium hesperium (Western Moonwort)
Ophioglossaceae (Adder's Tongue Family)

Montane, subalpine. Meadows, disturbed areas. Summer.
Molas Pass, August 18, 2011.

Notice that the basal pinnae are ovate but deeply lobed whereas the upper pinnae are very slightly lobed or entire.  The trophophore has a very short stalk just above the joint where it meets the sporophore (but this is difficult to see in my two photographs).

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Botrychium hesperium

Range map for Botrychium hesperium