Connecticut Plants
Leathery Grape Fern
Botrychium multifidum (Gmel.) Rupr.
  • Synonyms: Sceptridium multifidum (S.G. Gmelin) M. Nishida
  • Family: adder's-tongue (Ophioglossaceae)
  • Habitat: meadows, open woods
  • Height: 4 to 16 inches
  • Location of spores: separate fertile section of the frond, which branches from the sterile portion near the ground
  • Petiole (leaf stalk): green or brownish, smooth
  • Growth pattern: single leaf
  • Persistence: evergreen
  • Origin: native

A leathery grape fern with a sterile leaf; this plant has not developed the fertile, spore-bearing leaf segment. Photographed in late June in Shenandoan National Park, Virginia.

Close-up of part of a frond, showing the thick, leathery texture.