If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Tropical Plants

Lygodium japonicum

(Thunb.) Sw.

Schizaeaceae

+ Synonyms

Hydroglossum dissectum (Desv.) Steud.

Hydroglossum japonicum (Thunb.) Willd.

Lygodium chaerophylloides Desv.

Lygodium chochinchinense Desv.

Lygodium dissectum Desv.

Lygodium mearnsii Copel.

Lygodium microphyllum Link

Lygodium microstachyum Desv.

Lygodium pubescens Kaulf.

Lygodium tenue Blume

Ophioglossum japonicum Thunb.

Common Name: Japanese Climbing Fern

Lygodium japonicum
Foliage
Photograph by: Stefano
Creative Commons License
Lygodium japonicum Lygodium japonicum

General Information

Japanese climbing fern is a slender, deciduous, climbing fern with a wide-creeping rhizome[
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
]. All species of the genus have an elongated climbing rachis (leaf stem) that has the capacity for indefinite growth, often reaching lengths of several metres. It twines around other plants for support, often climbing up from the shade into a sunny position[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local medicinal use and for its stems, which are used in basketry. The spores are sometimes harvested from the wild and traded for their medicinal uses[
413
Title
Global Invasive Species Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.issg.org/database/welcome/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Very detailed information on almost 400 species (with more being added) of plants that have become weeds in areas outside their native range.
]. The plant is also grown as an ornamental, being valued especially for its ability to quickly cover unsightly structures and provide shade for other plants[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Known Hazards

Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase[
172
Title
Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest.
Publication
 
Author
Schofield. J. J.
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
A nice guide to some useful plants in that area.
].

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet

Range

E. Asia - China, Japan, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea.

Habitat

Climbing through trees and shrubs in secondary forest at elevations up to 2,550 metres[
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitDeciduous Fern
Height10.00 m
PollinatorsSelf
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of low to moderate elevations in the tropics, where it can be found at elevations up to 2,550 metres[
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
]. The plant only grows wild in areas with a pronounced dry season[
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
].
The roots can be planted in a shady position, allowing the plant to climb up into the sun[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Prefers a neutral to slightly acid soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Once established in a community, the plant displaces native species and alters local fire ecology because its stems act as a ladder for fires, leading to greater incidence of crown fire in forest communities that are ill-adapted to crown fire[
413
Title
Global Invasive Species Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.issg.org/database/welcome/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Very detailed information on almost 400 species (with more being added) of plants that have become weeds in areas outside their native range.
]. Given enough time, it can completely dominate a native habitat causing the collapse of the natural community. It is the reproductive strategy of the plant, or intragametophytic selfing, combined with the ease with which spores are wind dispersed which allows this fern to spread and proliferate rapidly. It has also been determined that the plant is hardier than native Florida species in low light environments, allowing it to thrive and expand when natives cannot[
413
Title
Global Invasive Species Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.issg.org/database/welcome/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Very detailed information on almost 400 species (with more being added) of plants that have become weeds in areas outside their native range.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The plant is used as an expectorant[
686
Title
American Fern Journal Vol.60
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
American Fern Society
Year
1970
ISBN
 
Description
Contains an article on the medicinal uses of Indian ferns. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
A decoction of the vegetative parts and spores is used as a diuretic[
686
Title
American Fern Journal Vol.60
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
American Fern Society
Year
1970
ISBN
 
Description
Contains an article on the medicinal uses of Indian ferns. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The spores are said to help kidney and urinary functions; reduce swelling, colds, and fever; ease cough and congestion; and work as an anti-gonorrhoeal agent or as a general blood tonic[
413
Title
Global Invasive Species Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.issg.org/database/welcome/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Very detailed information on almost 400 species (with more being added) of plants that have become weeds in areas outside their native range.
].

Other Uses

The extensive, fibrous root system can be used as a growing medium for plants[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Splints prepared from the stems are used in the manufacture of baskets, hats, and fancy boxes[
345
Title
Minor Products of Philippine Forests
Publication
 
Author
Brown. W. H.
Publisher
Bureau of Forestry, Manilla.
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
A useful guide to some of the plants of the area, though terse on details. The book is out of copyright and can be legally downloaded from the Internet.
]. The splints can be combined with buri (Corypha spp.) or some other fibre to make various fancy articles such as cigarette cases or pocketbooks. The effect is very pleasing, particularly when the plant stem is black[
345
Title
Minor Products of Philippine Forests
Publication
 
Author
Brown. W. H.
Publisher
Bureau of Forestry, Manilla.
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
A useful guide to some of the plants of the area, though terse on details. The book is out of copyright and can be legally downloaded from the Internet.
].

Propagation

Spores.
Division.
Serpentine layering. An actively growing frond is pinned down onto the soil surface at each node, where it may root and shoot out as a new plant[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.