old world climbing fern USDA PLANTS Symbol: LYMI
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Vines Ferns
Lygodium microphyllum (Cav.) R. Br.

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Taxonomic Rank: Filicopsida: Polypodiales: Lygodiaceae
Synonym(s): small leaf climbing fern
Native Range: Africa, SE Asia, S. Pac. Islds., Australia (); Not Found (BAIL)

Old world climbing fern, an aggressive invader in southern Florida, is a perennial climbing fern that can reach lengths of more than 90 ft. (30 m). Vines are thin, wiry, and remain green throughout winter. The fronds (leaves of a fern) are opposite, singly compound, 2-5 in. (5-12 cm) long with thick, usually unlobed leaflets. Fertile fronds have lobes around the margin, where sporangia are covered with rolled leaf tissue. Old world climbing fern is a serious invader of swamps, glades, and hammocks. It can form dense mats that smother understory vegetation, shrubs and trees. Old word climbing fern also increases fire risks. Thick mats of dead fronds that grow into trees act as fire ladders, bringing the fires into the tree canopies. Old world climbing fern is native to Africa, Australia and Southeast Asia and was first found naturalized in the United States in 1965.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Infestation;
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage; Underside of spore-bearing leaflets of Old World climbing fern. Some leaflets produce spores; others don't. Spores can be carried by the wind to start new infestations.
Peggy Greb, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage; Fertile fronds
Amy Ferriter, State of Idaho, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Seedling(s);
Amy Ferriter, State of Idaho, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Control;
Amy Ferriter, State of Idaho, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Control;
Amy Ferriter, State of Idaho, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation; Entomologist Robert Pemberton observes invasive Old World climbing fern overtaking cypress trees in southern Florida.
Peggy Greb, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation; Old World climbing fern growing on cypress trees in southern Florida. The weed forms huge skirts that fires can climb to reach tree tops. Trees without the fern usually survive fire.
Peggy Greb, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation;
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Control; Post Treatment, Everglades National Park, Florida
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation;
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation; Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Florida
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation;
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation; Miami-Dade County, Florida
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Control;
Amy Ferriter, State of Idaho, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Prescribed Fire;
Amy Ferriter, State of Idaho, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

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U.S. National Parks where reported invasive:
Everglades National Park (Florida)



Invasive Listing Sources:
Archbold Biological Station
Faith Campbell, 1998
Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council
Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
National  Wildlife Refuge Association, Silent Invasion: A Call to Action from the National Wildlife Refuge Association, 2002. Washington DC. 17 pp.