Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council

Invasive Weeds in Georgia

Evans, C.W., C.T. Bargeron, D.J. Moorhead & G.K. Douce. 2005. The Bugwood Network, The University of Georgia.

Japanese climbing fern

Lygodium japonicum (Thunb. ex Murr.) Sw.

Japanese climbing fern is a perennial climbing fern with fronds that can reach lengths of 90 feet. Vines (rachises) are thin and wiry, usually dying back in winter. The leaflets (pinnae) are opposite, compound and finely dissected. The overall leaflet has a triangular shape and is 3 to 6 inches in length. Spores occur on the fertile leaflets as a double row of dots under the margins.

Japanese climbing fern is native to eastern Asia and was first introduced into America during the 1930s for ornamental purposes. Currently, it can be found throughout the southeastern United States and in the coastal plain region of Georgia.

Japanese climbing fern often invades disturbed areas such as roadsides and ditches, but can also invade natural areas. It forms dense tangled mats, which cover the ground and shrubs, shading and killing understory vegetation and tree seedlings. Japanese climbing fern can also form “walls” which block any available sunlight and create fire hazards. It is becoming a problem in pine plantations, leading to the threat of the spores being spread in pine straw bales.

Recommended herbicides for control:
Foliar spray – Arsenal AC, Garlon 3A, Garlon 4, glyphosate, or Escort


Photo by David Moorhead, UGA


Photo by Ted Bodner, Southern Weed Science Society


Photo by Chris Evans, UGA

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University of GeorgiaThe Bugwood Network Forestry Images The Bugwood Network and Forestry Images Image Archive and Database Systems
The University of Georgia - Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Dept. of Entomology
Last updated on Tuesday, April 19, 2005 at 04:15 PM
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