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Similar but less problematic plants:
Lygodium japonicum Lygodium japonica
Lygodium palmatum is often confused with:
Lygodium japonicum Lygodium japonica
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Smilax smallii Form (Moore County, NC)-Early Fall
Thelypteris noveboracensis Thelypteris noveboracensis
Hamamelis virginiana Hamamelis virginiana

Creeping Fern Lygodium palmatum

Phonetic Spelling
li-GO-dee-um pahl-MAY-tum
Description

American Climbing Fern is native to the Eastern United States but is considered threatened in many states. It requires high light levels, constant moisture and acidic soils as is found in thickets, bogs, marshes, and open and closed woods. This plant is found primarily in the Appalachian Mountains area.

It is known as Hartford Fern because it was the first plant to be protected by law in the United States in Connecticut due to it being gathered for Christmas decorations. 

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:
#full sun tolerant#specimen#fern#wetlands#endangered#NC native#vines#deer resistant#native garden#acidic soils tolerant#bog gardens#woodland garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#specimen#fern#wetlands#endangered#NC native#vines#deer resistant#native garden#acidic soils tolerant#bog gardens#woodland garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Lygodium
    Species:
    palmatum
    Family:
    Lygodiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern United States
    Distribution:
    AL , CT , DE , FL , GA , ID , KS , KY , MA , MD , MI , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WV
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This plant is seldom damaged by deer.
    Climbing Method:
    Twining
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Fern
    Native Plant
    Vine
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Climbing
    Creeping
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    No fruits. This plants reproduces via spores.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    No flowers.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Slippery
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Fronds
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    3-7 lobed leaflets are palmately divided (appear hand-like). Leaves are 1-2 inches long and 2-4 inches wide and sterile. The fertile leaves are at the top of the plant and the leaflets are much more finely cut and have spores on the back.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Wet Soil