Slender Moonwort, Botrychium lineare (Ophioglossaceae), Rediscovered in Quebec

Jacques Cayouette, Donald R. Farrar


Slender Moonwort (Botrychium lineare), described in 1994, is a very rare fern in eastern North America. It was known in Quebec, Canada, from only two sites in the Gaspé Peninsula but has not been relocated since its discovery at these sites in 1902 and 1942. An ongoing study of B. lineare and its recent discovery in northern Minnesota prompted a re-examination of a 1972 collection made in western Quebec, in Gatineau Park, previously identified under various names, including B. campestre. A recent visit (2008) to the Gatineau Park site disclosed continued presence of similar plants. Based on morphological characters, spore size, genotype (allozyme electrophoresis), and appropriate habitat features, we conclude that the newly discovered plants and those of the 1972 collection are B. lineare. B. lineare appears on the Quebec government list of plant species likely to be designated threatened or vulnerable.


Slender Moonwort; Botrychium lineare; Prairie Moonwort; Botrychium campestre; Ophioglossaceae; spores; rare plants; Quebec

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