Botrychium hesperium
Western moonwort
Image of Botrychium hesperium

Photo by Susan R. Crispin 

Key Characteristics

Small fern (10-20 cm) of northern dunes; leaf broadly triangular with slightly overlapping ascending pinnae; fertile portion robust, up to twice the length of the sterile leaf.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: T
  • State Rank: S2
  • Global Rank: G4

Occurrences

County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Alger11985
Alpena11952
Chippewa11992
Distribution map for Botrychium hesperium

Updated 7/21/2017. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.

Habitat

Found in large dune systems, including perched dunes. It also occasionally occurs in forested areas and sandy disturbed roadsides and fields.

Natural Community Types

Methodology

For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

Dune willow, balsam poplar, sandbar willow, ground juniper, sand cherry, beach heath, sea rocket, wormwood, Pitcher's thistle, beach pea, sand cress, Lake Huron tansy, common milkweed, hairy puccoon, beach grass, dune grass, fescue, wood lily, horizontal juniper, northern white cedar, acute leaved moonwort, daisy leaved grape-fern, and prairie moonwort.

Management

This species requires protection of habitat and maintenance of natural dune processes (e.g. shoreline fluctuation, erosion, sand deposition, wind, water level fluctuation, sand movement) that create the necessary microsites. Protect habitat from residential development. Prevent or remove invasive species. Vulnerable to ORV damage and also excessive foot traffic.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/explorer [Accessed Nov 17, 2017]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract

References

Survey References

Technical References

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