Old World Climbing Fern

What is Old World Climbing Fern?

Lygodium microphyllum, commonly known as Old World Climbing Fern, is a perennial climbing fern that can reach lengths of more than 90 feet (27.4 m). A serious invader of swamps, glades, and hammocks. It can form dense mats that smother understory vegetation, shrubs, and trees. This plant also increases fire risks. Thick mats of dead fronds that grow into trees act as fire ladders, bringing the fires into the tree canopies. It is native to Africa, Australia, and Southeast Asia and was first found naturalized in the United States in 1965.

Underside of spore-bearing leaflets of Old World climbing fern.