BugwoodWiki Article

old world climbing fern
Lygodium microphyllum (Cav.) R. Br.

Overview

Appearance
Lygodium microphyllum is a perennial climbing fern that can reach lengths of more than 90 ft. (27.4 m).
Foliage
Vines are thin, wiry, and remain green throughout winter. The fronds (leaves of a fern) are opposite, singly compound, 2-5 in. (5-12.7 cm) long with thick, usually unlobed leaflets. Fertile fronds have lobes around the margin, where sporangia are covered with rolled leaf tissue. It has two types of leaflets on its climbing leaf. The leaflet with the simple (unlobed) outline is a normal vegetative leaflet. The more convoluted leaflet has sporangia along its margin.
Flowers
This plant does not produce flowers.
Fruit
The sporangia produces spores leading to the development of gametophytes. The gametophytes are usually small, and difficult to spot.
Ecological Threat
Lygodium microphyllum is a serious invader of swamps, glades, and hammocks. It can form dense mats that smother understory vegetation, shrubs and trees. This plant also increases fire risks. Thick mats of dead fronds that grow into trees act as fire ladders, bringing the fires into the tree canopies. It is native to Africa, Australia and Southeast Asia and was first found naturalized in the United States in 1965.

Selected Images


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old world climbing fern
Lygodium microphyllum
Infestation
Tony Pernas
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old world climbing fern
Lygodium microphyllum
Foliage
Peggy Greb
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old world climbing fern
Lygodium microphyllum
Foliage
Amy Ferriter
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old world climbing fern
Lygodium microphyllum
Seedling(s)
Amy Ferriter
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old world climbing fern
Lygodium microphyllum
Control
Amy Ferriter
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old world climbing fern
Lygodium microphyllum
Control
Amy Ferriter
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old world climbing fern
Lygodium microphyllum
Infestation
Peggy Greb
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2308088

old world climbing fern
Lygodium microphyllum
Infestation
Peggy Greb
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5275066

old world climbing fern
Lygodium microphyllum
Infestation
Tony Pernas
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old world climbing fern
Lygodium microphyllum
Control
Tony Pernas
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old world climbing fern
Lygodium microphyllum
Infestation
Tony Pernas
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old world climbing fern
Lygodium microphyllum
Infestation
Tony Pernas
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old world climbing fern
Lygodium microphyllum
Infestation
Tony Pernas
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old world climbing fern
Lygodium microphyllum
Infestation
Tony Pernas
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old world climbing fern
Lygodium microphyllum
Control
Amy Ferriter
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old world climbing fern
Lygodium microphyllum
Prescribed Fire
Amy Ferriter

Maps


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

EDDMapS Distribution

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

State Regulated List

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Pteridophyta
Class: Filicopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Family: Lygodiaceae
Genus: Lygodium

Other System Links

Plants: LYMI
GRIN: 403434
ITIS: 17984
NPDN Pest: PQBQBQC
NPDN Host: 39042

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
small leaf climbing fern

Categories

Category: Vines
Category: Ferns