Monday, May 11, 2009

Botrychium matricariifolium, Daisyleaf Grape Fern

Also spelled Botrychium matricariaefolium. This peculiar little fern grows in several places in northern Indiana - more abundantly and widespread than published maps indicate. It is probably missed by botanists because it grows in degraded woods, and in very young stick forests where saplings are so thick it's difficult to walk between them. It does occasionally show up in high quality forested sites. Photographed May 10, 2009 at Potato Creek State Park in St. Joseph County.

A similar, smaller species, Botrychium simplex, occurs rarely in the Dunes region. It differs in having the blade pinnatifid (that of B. matricariifolium is bipinnatifid, approaching pinnate-pinnatifid),and its blade lacks the prominent, wide midrib that B. matricariifolium has. Also, its sporophyll is not as noticeably branched (branches are short to obsolete).

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