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Lygodium (Climbing Fern)

More Information About Lygodium

Lygodium is a genus of around 40 species of ferns that are native worldwide, primarily to tropical areas. A few species (like the US native, Lygodium palmatum) are cold hardy and can be used as garden ferns in the South. The genus name lygodium comes from the Greek "lygodes" which means flexible and is a reference to the twining rachis (midrib of the frond). Lygodium fronds act like vines. Each frond will twine around any type of support and continue to grow indefinitely. Like most garden ferns, lygodium prefers partial shade and rich, consistently moist, woodland soils. In areas where it is not invasive, try training lygodium to climb a trellis or a wall. Cut it to the ground in fall to prevent the spores from spreading around.

In the southern states (North Carolina to Texas) Asian species of lygodium (aka L. japonicum and L. microphyllum) have become invasive pests that smother native vegetation and pose a fire hazard. Some have compared Lygodium japonicum to Kudzu for its destructive potential, so in these areas it is important to manage this plant to prevent spore production. When you are ready to buy lygodium for your garden, check out our online offering of lygodium for sale.