Japanese climbing fern

Polypodiales > Lygodiaceae > Lygodium japonicum (Thunb. ex Murr.) Sw.

Japanese climbing fern 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. Fertile fronds bear sporangia that produce tiny, wind-dispersed spores. Plants are also spread by rhizomes. Japanese climbing fern 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. Japanese climbing fern is native to eastern Asia and was first introduced into the United States during the 1930s for ornamental purposes.


Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources


Selected Images from Invasive.org

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Foliage; Fertile fronds
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); September
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; Spore-producing fronds.
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s);
Richard Old, XID Services, Inc., Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Vines and Fronds. Tift County, GA
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); September
Ted Bodner, Southern Weed Science Society, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); Tift County, GA
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Ronald F. Billings, Texas Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; July
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; Infesting a planted pine stand, GA
Wayne Williamson, , Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); January
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Prescribed Fire;
Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; Tift County, GA
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Control; glyphosate mixture. Tift County, GA
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Control; Backpack sprayer, glyphosate treatment. Tift County, GA
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Dispersal; Plant in a pine straw bale
Dennis Teague, U.S. Air Force, Bugwood.org
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Diagram or Graphic; USDA NRCS. Wetland flora: Field office illustrated guide to plant species. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
USDA PLANTS Database, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • Alabama - Noxious Weed Law
  • Alabama - IPC List
  • Florida - EPPC list
  • Georgia - EPPC list
  • South Carolina - EPPC List
  • Texas - Invasive Plant List
  • Invasive Plant Atlas of the Mid-South


External Links


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