Japanese Climbing Fern (Lygodium japonicum)

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Fern
Vine
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Mesic
Dry Mesic
Dry
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 7a -17.8 °C (0 °F) to -15 °C (5 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 10b
Plant Height: to 90 feet
Plant Spread: it can smother entire trees
Leaves: Evergreen
Semi-evergreen
Deciduous
Other: Evergreen to deciduous depending on zone.
Flowers: Other: None
Flower Color: Other: N/A
Underground structures: Rhizome
Uses: Will Naturalize
Resistances: Tolerates dry shade
Humidity tolerant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Other info: spores maturing usually in November --- self sows freely
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Stolons and runners
Containers: Suitable in 1 gallon
Suitable for hanging baskets
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

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Comments:
Posted by flaflwrgrl (North Fl. - Zone 8b) on Aug 6, 2014 7:12 PM

THIS IS LISTED ON THE FEDERAL NOXIOUS WEED LIST. IT IS LISTED AS A CATEGORY 1 INVASIVE IN GEORGIA, TEXAS & FLORIDA. IT IS PROHIBITED IN THESE STATES. THIS PLANT IS NON NATIVE TO THE U.S.

This will smother entire trees to the point of killing them. It shades out native vegetation and prevents seeds from sprouting beneath it. It has become a huge problem in the Florida Everglades. Two moths whose larvae eat the vine have been introduced to control it. Great, let's get 2 more non-natives going to wipe out a non-native. How many times do we have to do this to learn that 9 times out of 10 we just end up with more problems from the "introduced cure"?
The dense growth habit of this plant creates a fire hazard by providing a "fire tower" for small ground fires to quickly spread to the tree canopy.

It spreads by rhizomes as well as spores.

It is native to Africa, Asia, and Australia and was introduced into the U.S. as an ornamental from Japan in the 1930s.

This plant is often confused with Lygodium microphyllum, aka Old World Climbing Fern, which is just as bad as this one. The way to tell them apart is by the differing leaf characteristics. The Japanese climbing fern has leaves that are arranged opposite on the vine and are finely divided and lacy.

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Posted by shalyn (Winchester Ca - Zone 9a) on Aug 3, 2018 4:34 PM

I know that this fern has a bit of world domination personality. Having said that,
let me tell you a story:
In 1964 my father, who was a plant hobbyist of some note here in So Calif., created a large intertwined heart form, planted this fern in the center, and trained it onto the form. He called it "My four sweethearts and I." In late Sept. of that year, when the LA International Fern Society had their yearly show, this creation took best of show over all the wonderful plants there. I still have this same plant. I would never plant this one in the ground for good reason, but controlled in a pot she is wonderful.

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Posted by Avedon (NE Tex - Zone 8a) on Mar 6, 2013 9:53 PM

This is a very interesting plant. It has two different types of leaves. In our garden, it is mostly in shade until late afternoon. It will die to the ground in winter and return in spring.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
What is this vine by Plantpest1953 May 22, 2017 12:07 AM 3
Fern needs ID please by greene Oct 6, 2016 10:36 AM 19
Asparagus Fern (Asparagus setaceus) by Musicgirl2222 Apr 2, 2015 7:24 PM 18
Florida Ferns by plantladylin Jan 25, 2015 10:13 AM 31
Japanese Climbing Fern (Lygodium japonicum) by gingin Dec 7, 2011 5:03 PM 6

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