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Rattlesnake Fern
Botrychium virginianum (Botrypus virginianus)

Rattlesnake fern gets its name from the fertile section of frond, which is reminiscent of a rattlesnake's rattle. The fertile section is bright yellow when the spores are mature; it is green in the photo below.

• Family: Ophioglossaceae
• Habitat: rich woodlands
• Height: 8-30 inches
• Location of spores: separate fertile portion of frond, which branches from the sterile portion at the base of the blade
• Stipe (leaf stalk): smooth, round, and pink at the base
• Growth pattern: single leaf
• Persistence: deciduous

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Botrychium virginianum


Last updated November 25, 2005. © 2005 Connecticut Botanical Society. All rights reserved.