New York Natural Heritage Program
Common Moonwort
Botrychium lunaria (L.) Sw.
Botrychium lunaria W. Carl Taylor. USDA NRCS (1992); downloaded from USDA-Plants Database.
Family: adder's-tongue family (Ophioglossaceae)

State Protection: Endangered
listed species are those with: 1) 5 or fewer extant sites, or 2) fewer than 1,000 individuals, or 3) restricted to fewer than 4 U.S.G.S. 7 ? minute topographical maps, or 4) species listed as endangered by U.S. Department of Interior.

Federal Protection: Not Listed

State Rarity Rank: S1
A State Rarity Rank of S1 means: This plant is endangered/critically imperiled in New York because of extreme rarity (typically 5 or fewer populations or very few remaining individuals) or is extremely vulnerable to extirpation from New York due to biological factors.

Global Rarity Rank: G5
A Global Rarity Rank of G5 means: This species is demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.


Did you know?
Botrychium lunaria was named by Carl Linneaus for the pinnae which have a crescent moon shape. The common name, moonwort, comes from this species but not all moonwoorts have crescent-shaped pinnae. In the past it was thought that these ferns could raise the dead, open locks, or remove the shoes of horses that tread upon them.

State Ranking Justification [-]
There is only one known population and three historical populations. One of the historical populations is probably extirpated. This fern has always been considered rare in New York.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]