Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Southern grapefern
Botrychium biternatum

Family: Ophioglossaceae
Genus: Botrychium (boh-TRY-kee-ee-um) (Info)
Species: biternatum (by-TER-nat-um) (Info)

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us


Other details:
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By JaxFlaGardener
Thumbnail #1 of Botrychium biternatum by JaxFlaGardener

By JaxFlaGardener
Thumbnail #2 of Botrychium biternatum by JaxFlaGardener


1 positive
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral grrrlgeek On Feb 16, 2009, grrrlgeek from Grayslake, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

this plant is on the Threatened list in Ohio and Illinois

Neutral frostweed On Jan 12, 2007, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Southern grapefern Botrychium biternatum is Native to Texas and other States.

Positive JaxFlaGardener On Jan 3, 2006, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant is not rare nor endangered in Florida, but is rarely seen. I am just very lucky to have found them growing in my yard when I bought my house three years ago. They have continued to thrive. I've collected them from various spots around in my yard and put them all together in one area as their own "nature preserve" so that they are out of harm's way from foot traffic or if I happen to miss seeing them when I mow.

The plants never seem to develop more than one or two leaves. The leaves are an interesting texture and shape - somewhat like the shape of a grape leaf and thus their common name of "Southern Grape Fern." They tend to turn yellow and go dormant in the hottest days of summer, then return around late October with new leaves. They send up their spore stalks in December in my yard. They did not do as well for me this year as in previous years. I had to take down the large oak near their "nature preserve" plot. The tree was providing them the shade they like, but the tree was also threatening my roof in heavy winds. I erected a shade cloth around the area where they are planted to try to simulate the shade they had before the tree was taken down. I hope I can keep them going for decades to come!



This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Jacksonville, Florida

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