Japanese climbing fern
Lygodium japonicum (Thunb. ex Murr.) Sw.


Lygodium japonicum is a perennial climbing fern that can reach lengths of 90 ft. (30 m). Vines are thin, wiry, green to orange to black and usually die back in the winter.
The fronds (leaves of a fern) are opposite, compound, usually triangular in shape, 3-6 in. (8-15 cm) long, 2-3 in. (5-8 cm) wide and finely dissected.
This plant does not produce flowers.
Fertile fronds bear sporangia that produce tiny, wind-dispersed spores. Plants are also spread by rhizomes.
Ecological Threat
Lygodium japonicum often invades disturbed areas such as roadsides and ditches, but can also invade natural areas. It generally is scattered throughout the landscape, but can form dense mats that smother understory vegetation, shrubs and trees. This plant is native to eastern Asia and was first introduced into the United States during the 1930s for ornamental purposes.


Selected Images


EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

Taxonomic Rank

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


Plants - Vines