Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Lygodium japonicum
(Thunb.) Sw., Lygodiaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results: 

High risk, score: 23 (Go to the risk assessment (Pacific)).
Reject, score: 25 (Go to the risk assessment (U.S. Florida)).
Moderate to moderate-high risk (Go to the risk assessment (United States)) (PDF format).

Other Latin names:  Ophioglossum japonicum Thunb.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: Japanese climbing fern

Japanese: kani-kusa, tsuru-shinobu

Habit:  fern

Description:  "A large, bright green and twining fern with short-creeping rhizomesLeaves are up to 5 m long, bipinnately compound with widely spaced pinnae along the rachis.  Pinnae are fertile or sterile, 10-18 cm long and 7-10 cm wide, and consist of 2-3 leaflets of up to 7 cm length and 2.5 cm width.  Fertile leaflets are flabellate and have eight or more narrow lobes.  Sterile pinnae are triangular, with the sterile leaflets being palmate to deeply lobed. Sporangia open upwardly and are attached on free veinlets"  (Weber, 2003; p. 251).

Habitat/ecology:  "Tropical hammocks, riparian habitats, disturbed places.  This fast growing fern twines around small stems and branches of trees and shrubs.  It quickly climbs to the canopy and forms dense mats there, shading out the host trees and any other supporting vegetation.  It can weaken or even kill smothered trees.  The dry dead fronds are flammable and in fire-prone regions the fern carries fires from the ground to the forest canopies, thus intensifying wild fires"  (Weber, 2003; p. 251).

Propagation:  Spores

Native range:  India through eastern and southeastern Asia, extending to the Philippines (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wilson, K. A. (1996)
Voucher cited: Wilson 2437 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wilson, K. A. (1996)
Vouchers cited: Staples 1166 (BISH), Gagne s.n. (BISH, LAM)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wilson, Kenneth A. (2003) (p. 5)
Voucher cited: Staples et al. 1166 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Frohlich, Danielle/Lau, Alex (2012) (p. 47)
Voucher cited: OISC 20110601 (BISH)
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalised
Australia
Australia (continental)
Northern Territory introduced
invasive
cultivated
Australian Biological Resources Study (2013)
"Probably a garden escape".
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalised
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
Hong Kong native
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 11)
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku
Japan
Ryukyu Islands
Ryukyu Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
North Korea
North Korea
North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
South Korea
South Korea
South Korea (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 57)
Naturalised
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
invasive
Cronk, Q. C. B./Fuller, J. L. (2001) (p. 167)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
invasive
Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. (2013)
"Reported as weedy in southern Alabama and Florida where its dense canopy can eliminate underlying vegetation."

Comments:  Planting of this species is prohibited in Miami-Dade County, Florida (U.S.) (Miami-Dade County Dept. of Planning and Zoning, 2010).

Control: 

Physical:  "Small infestations can be controlled by repeated hand pulling or cutting".

Chemical:  "In Florida [US], the vines are pulled from the trees and treated with a foliar spray of a mixture of triclopyr and an oil surfactant"  (Weber, 2003; p. 266).


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 21 FEB 2007 and was last updated on 4 JUL 2012.