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Rattlesnake Fern

Botrychium virginianum

Named for its fertile spore package, held high above the leaves and resembling the rattles on a rattlesnake. Often hidden below taller forest plants. Deer favour the spore panicle so a complete specimen is unusual. Look for a fern less than half the size of a bracken fern and with three triangular fronds, no spores on the leaf undersides, and a stout lower stem. The small globular spore packages ripen and burst releasing quantities of bright yellow spores.

  • Colour:
  • Habitat: woods, dry, wet
  • Flower Size:
  • Flower Time:
  • Seed Matures: Sept
  • Seed Colour: yellow
  • Height: 30 - 60 cm
  • Image Location: Sandbanks
  • Flower Form: spores
  • Availability: unusual

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