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Similar but less problematic plants:
Lygodium palmatum Lygodium palmatum
Lygodium japonicum is often confused with:
Lygodium palmatum Lygodium palmatum
Pteris Pteris
Native alternative(s) for Lygodium japonicum:
Lygodium palmatum Lygodium palmatum
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Ligustrum sinense Ligustrum sinense
Phegopteris hexagonoptera View of fronds from above (Niagara, CA-ON)-Late Summer
Akebia quinata Five parted compound leaves.

Lygodium japonicum

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
li-GO-dee-um juh-PON-ih-kum
Description

Japanese Climbing Fern is terrestrial, subterranean, and creeping. It can grow to 90 feet covering shrubs and trees. The root system is rhizomatous forming dense mats up to 10 feet deep. The spores are dispersed by the wind. It is evergreen in tropical areas and deciduous in areas with frost. This plant is utilized in exterior landscapes in the lower south, and is marginally hardy in protected areas in the Raleigh area.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Vine with fern leaves
  • Fronds have elongated pinnules and twining rachis
  • Sori borne on finger-like lobes of pinnules

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  Japanese Climbing Fern is on the NC Native Plant Society's rank 2 list for invasiveness. It is considered invasive in several southern states and a noxious weed in Florida.  

VIDEO Created by NC State Extension's Homegrown series featuring Mark Weathington, Director of JC Raulston Arboretum.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#hardy#deciduous#vigorous#shade tolerant#fern#high maintenance#fast growing#vines#deer resistant#fantz#tropical feel
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#hardy#deciduous#vigorous#shade tolerant#fern#high maintenance#fast growing#vines#deer resistant#fantz#tropical feel
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Lygodium
    Species:
    japonicum
    Family:
    Schizaeaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The plant is harvested from the wild for local medicinal use and for its stems, which are used in basketry.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Japan, Tropical Asia, Austrailia
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, FL, GA, HI, LA, MS, NC, PA, PR, SC, TX
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Heavy shade, Deer
    Climbing Method:
    Twining
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 90 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 15 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Fern
    Weed
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Deciduous
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Climbing
    Creeping
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b, 12a, 12b, 13b, 13a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    No fruits. This plants reproduces via spores.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    No flowers.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Deciduous
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Slippery
    Soft
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Fronds
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are usually triangular in shape, 3-6 in. long, 2-3 in. wide and finely dissected with hairs on the under surface. They are pinnately compound to decompound and dimorphic. Pinnae are borne on rachis in distant pairs on short stalks. The sterile pinnae is entire to serrate, with an elongated terminal pinnul. Lateral pinnules are 2-3 per side and are unequal. The smaller pinnaes are fertile, with pinnules developing finger-like lobes. Stipes and rachis are wiry and twinging.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Black
    Green
    Orange
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Vines are thin, wiry, green to orange to black
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Patio
    Landscape Theme:
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Screen/Privacy
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Heavy Shade
    Problems:
    Weedy