Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Japanese Climbing Fern - Lygodium japonicum   (Thunberg) Swartz
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Section 2 » Order Polypodiales » Family Lygodiaceae
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Author(Thunberg) Swartz
DistributionOn rich soils of old terraces of the Cape Fear River (Cumberland County) and Piedmont (Lee and Mecklenburg counties). First collected in 1933 "near Fayetteville"; still present in 2020. Collected in Lee County in 1958 on a slope by the Deep River. Collected in Mecklenburg County on the campus of UNC Charlotte in 1975; present at Bearden Park in 2017. Specimens from Wake and Wilson counties were from cultivated plants. Brian England found established plants in Wake County in 2018.

Native of eastern Asia; in N.A. NC to FL and TX.
AbundanceRare and local, so far as is known. A very serious weed in Florida and elsewhere in the Deep South, but not yet a problem here in NC.
HabitatVarious disturbed places, several from wooded sites. Known to climb fences, such as at an old cemetery in Fayetteville.
Phenology
IdentificationLike our native Lygodium palmatum, Japanese Climbing-fern produces very long leaves that seem to be stem branches. These may grow 3-20 feet (or more) and twine around supporting vegetation. They bear pinnately to palmately lobed leaflets that do not look like a hand (unlike our native species).
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Other Common Name(s)
State RankSE
Global RankGNR
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Brian EnglandWake County. WakeOther_non_natural
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