New York Natural Heritage Program
Common Moonwort
Botrychium lunaria (L.) Sw.

Habitat [-]
This is a fern of northern white cedar forests and open pastures that are casually grazed where the underlying bedrock is calcareous. Often found with other moonworts (New York Natural Heritage Program 2005). Open fields, occasionally forests in southern occurrences (Flora of North America 1993). Open fields and meadows, or sandy or gravelly streambanks (Gleason and Cronquist 1991). In dry pastures, meadows, and on hillsides and rocky ledges (Cobb 1984). Open turfy, gravelly or ledgy slopes, shores and meadows, chiefly calcareous (Fernald 1970).

Associated Ecological Communities [-]
  • Calcareous pavement barrens*
    A savanna community that occurs on nearly level outcrops of calcareous bedrock (limestone or dolomite). The community consists of a mosaic of shrub-savanna, grass-savanna, and rock outcrop vegetation.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Calcareous talus slope woodland
    An open or closed canopy community that occurs on talus slopes composed of calcareous bedrock such as limestone or dolomite. The soils are usually moist and loamy; there may be numerous rock outcrops.
  • Limestone woodland*
    A woodland that occurs on shallow soils over limestone bedrock in non-alvar settings, and usually includes numerous rock outcrops. There are usually several codominant trees, although one species may become dominant in any one stand.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Pastureland
    Agricultural land permanently maintained (or recently abandoned) as a pasture area for livestock.

Associated Species [-]
  • Mountain Maple (Acer spicatum)
  • Lyre-leaved Rockcress (Arabidopsis lyrata)
  • Wild Sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)
  • Mingan's Moonwort (Botrychium minganense)
  • Fragile Rockbrake (Cryptogramma stelleri)
  • Marginal Wood Fern (Dryopteris marginalis)
  • Virginia Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)
  • Naked Bishop's-cap (Mitella nuda)
  • Northern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis)