climbing fern
Lygodium flexuosum (L.) Sw. (1801) (Mobot)


Lygodium flexuosum, maidenhair creeper, is a rhizomatous perennial climbing fern. It is native to temperate and tropical Asia and to Australia. Vines are thin, wiry, and can become very dense. They consist of the climbing frond stems (rachis) which arise from the horizontal stems (stolons and rhizomes) on and beneath the ground.
The pinnae of L. flexuosum are attached opposite on the vine and are roughly triangular in shape. The margins of fertile pinnae contract to finger-like projections that bear sporangia which produce spores.
L. flexuosum is a fern and ferns do not have flowers.
L. flexuosum reproduces by spores and can spread through its rhizomes. The sporangia that form on the underside of the pinnae produce spores. The sporangia are dark brown raised spots along the margin of fertile pinnules.
Ecological Threat
Lygodium flexuosum is a federally listed noxious weed. The spores are easily moved by the wind. In Asia L. flexuosum is a weed in rice fields and overgrows vegetation in lowland natural areas.

Invasive Listing Sources

Taxonomic Rank

There is no applicable taxonomy of higher classification for this subject.


Plants - Vines