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VMS -- Botany (f09r) Botrychium multifidum

I have been looking at the genera Botrychium again for a possible match
to f09r. Previously, I considered Botrychium lunaria in attempting to
identify the plant in f94r. Again we return to "...the famous Siitama
Botrychium-meadow in Orivesi SW Finland."


There are some difficulties in making an accurate match here. The leaves
do not quite match, but it may be that the scribe of the VMS was
exaggerating the shape of the leaves to conform to a preconceived idea
for a Doctrine of Signatures match. This plant seems to closely resemble
Botrychium multifidum which is a type of fern. The grape-like fronds at
the top of the plant are sporangia containing the spores.

Fertile Frond -- Closeup (e.g., B. lunaria)
(BioImages, the Virtual Field-Guide for UK Bio-diversity)

There are approximately 50 species of Botrychium. It is believed that
this genera lives a symbiotic mycorrhizal existence with a fungus, which
makes it virtually impossible to successfully transplant. These plants
tend to be very small and difficult to locate. They are apparently a
delicacy for slugs and snails. Of all the Botrychium that I have looked
at I tend to favor B. multifidum as a match for the plant in f09r.

Botrychium multifidum: Leathery Grape Fern

Botrychium: Technical Botanical Description

While every attempt is made to suggest the best possible matches for the
plants in the VMS, I am of course open to updating the identifications
if "better" recommendations are found.

Dana Scott