Japanese Climbing Fern  JFC111805 

Japanese Climbing Fern Photo
Japanese climbing fern (Lygodium japonicum) is a climbing and twining perennial vine.

IDENTIFICATION: Lacy finely-divided leaves along green to orange to black wiry vines to 90 ft. long. Stem slender but difficult to break. Twining and climbing, wiry, green to straw-colored or reddish, mostly deciduous in late winter. Fertile fronds, usually smaller segments with fingerlike projections around the margins bearing spore producing dots, in double rows under margins. Seeds are tiny spores dispersed by the wind

ECOLOGY: Spreads along highway rights-of-way (preferring under and around bridges) and invades into open forests, forest road edges, and stream and swamp margins. Scattered in open timber stands and plantation can quickly increase in cover to form mats, covering shrubs and trees. Deciduous in winter, while dead vines provide lattice for new growth.

Resembles American climbing fern (native) and Old World climbing fern (only in Florida) but have palmately lobed 5-7 finger-like fronds. American climbing fern occurs in swamps, streambeds, and ravines, and confinespread to small areas and not forming extensive infestations.

HERBICIDE CONTROL: Apply a glyphosate herbicide, Garlon 3A or Garlon 4 as 4% solutions (1 pint per 3-gallon mix); Arsenal AC as a 1% solution (4 ounces per 3-gal. mix); or Escort at 1-2 ounces per acre in water (0.3-0.6 dry ounces per 3-gal. mix) in water with a surfactant to thoroughly wet all leaves in July to October.

WARNING: Damage to surrounding plants may occur with Arsenal AC or Escort due to soil activity. Always read and follow label directions carefully.

Source: Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests, James Miller, 2004
Photo Credit: James R. Allison, Georgia Department of Natural Resources,
PDF Version

Additional Resources:
-Invasive Plant Council