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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Lanceleaf Moonwort - Botrychium lanceolatum

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S3
(see State Rank Reason below)
CCVI: Less Vulnerable
C-value: 6

Agency Status
USFS: Sensitive - Known in Forests (BRT, KOOT)


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Reported from approximately two dozen sites. Population levels are poorly documented. As this species was not previously tracked in the state, it may be under-reported.
General Description
Plants 5–15 cm. Trophophore dark green to yellow-green, triangular, up to 5 cm long, with 1 to 3 pairs of lobed pinnae; the pinnae ascending and not overlapping. Sporophore 1 to 3 times pinnate, 1 to 2.5 times as long as trophophore. According to Farrar (unpublished) our plants are subspecies lanceolatum, although Lesica (2012) indicates that subspecies lanceolatum and the putatively eastern subspecies angustisegmentum are difficult to separate (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX; Donald Farrar (Iowa State Univeristy; unpublished manuscript)).

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
In MT in the western third east to Park County; AK to MT south to AZ, and NM (Donald Farrar, Iowa State University, unpublished ms).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 89

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

In a variety of habitats from wet to moist, grassy and rocky slopes, meadows, woods, roadsides, and edges of lakes, generally at fairly high elevations.
Predicted Suitable Habitat Model

This species has a Predicted Suitable Habitat Model available.

To learn how these Models were created see

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Farrar, Donald. 2011. Moonwort (Botrychium) Systematics. Ada Hayden Herbarium. Iowa State University.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
    • Mantas, M. and R.S. Wirt. 1995. Moonworts of western Montana (Botrychium subgenus Botrychium). Flathead National Forest. 103 pp.
    • Wagner, W.H., and E.S. Wagner. 1983. Genus communities as a systematic tool in the study of new world Botrychium (Ophioglossaceae). Taxon 32(1): 51-63.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Lanceleaf Moonwort"
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Citation for data on this website:
Lanceleaf Moonwort — Botrychium lanceolatum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from