Botrychium lunarioides (Michx.) Sw. - Winter Grape Fern
Family - Ophioglossaceae
Mature fertile frond.
Flowering - Spores produced February - April.
Habitat - Open grassy areas, lawns, open woods, roadsides.
Origin - Native to North America.
Other information - This low-growing and small fern can be found mainly in the southern half of Alabama. The plant is notoriously hard to find as it grows very low to the ground and is commonly covered by surrounding plants. The sterile fronds of the plant grow prostrate and the fertile fronds typically stand erect. The fertile fronds in the photos above were not quite fully expanded.
Photographs taken off Lee Rd 240, Lee County, AL., 3-7-06.