Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council

Have you seen these exotic pest plants?

The Climbing Ferns

Old World Climbing Ferns

Lygodium microphyllum (Cav.) R. Brown

Leaflets usually without lobes and without hairs on lower surface;

leaflet stalks articulate (left behind when leaflet drops)


Illustration courtesy of South Florida Water Management District



Japanese Climbing Fern

Lygodium japonicum Thunb. Ex Murray

Leaflets usually lobed and with some hairs on lower surface;

Leaflet stalks not articulate (they remain attached to leaflet blades)

Illustration courtesy of Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, IFAS, University of Florida




  1. 1. If you locate an infestation of climbing fern, collect a section of viney frond.

    To transport a sample of fresh material, seal it in a plastic bag. To prepare a dried specimen, spread a section of frond in a folded piece of newspaper and apply weight or pressure to flatten it as it dries; keep it flattened in a dry, warm place for a few days; then transport or ship it in a sealed, stiff box.

  2. Document the infestation as a "sight record" in the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council's data base by entering data at Florida EPPC's web page: www.fleppc.org/database.htm

  3. Document the infestation as a herbarium record by sending the collected specimen to your nearest regional herbarium (University of South Florida,Florida State University, University of Florida,Fairchild Tropical Garden), where the plant's identity can also be confirmed.

    Or, you can send specimens for confirmation and distribution to herbaria by shipping to

    Chris Lockhart
    Florida Natural Areas Inventory, FSU
    1018 Thomasville Rd., Suite 200-C
    Tallahassee, FL 32303

If you have questions about reporting and controlling an infestation, call the Bureau of Invasive Plant Management, Florida Department of Environmental Protection at (850) 245-2822, or place an inquiry at the Florida EPPC web page, or contact your nearest county extension agent or water management district office.