[moon-wurt, -wawrt]
Moonworts are seedless vascular plants of the genus Botrychium, sensu stricto. They are small, with fleshy roots, and reproduce by spores shed into the air. One part of the leaf is sterile and fernlike, the other fertile and carrying the clusters of sporangia or spore cases. Some species only occasionally emerge above ground and gain most of their nourishment from an association with mycorrhizal fungi. They are unusual among tracheophytes ("higher plants") in that at least some species produce the sugar trehalose.

The circumscription of Botrychium is disputed between different authors; some botanists include the genera Botrypus and Sceptridium within Botrychium, while others treat them as distinct. The latter treatment is provisionally followed here.

Selected species


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