We are following the treatment in the Flora of China[
] in spelling the specific name circinnatum, based on the basionym Ophioglossum circinnatum Burm.f.. Several other publications, however, spell the specific name circinatum[
Hydroglossum circinnatum (Burm.f.) Willd.
Hydroglossum pedatum (Burm.f.) Willd.
Lygodium basilanicum Christ
Lygodium conforme C.Chr.
Lygodium dichotomum (Cav.) Sw.
Lygodium pedatum (Burm.f.) Sw.
Ophioglossum circinnatum Burm.f.
Ophioglossum pedatum Burm.f.
Ugena dichotoma Cav.
Ugena macrostachya Cav.
Lygodium circinnatum is an evergreen, scrambling, climbing fern with a short, creeping rhizome[
]. 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[
The plant is gathered from the wild for use as food and medicine. The stems are used as tying material and are very popular for making traditional baskets that are sold in markets, especially to tourists. The plant is also grown as an ornamental, being valued especially for its ability to quickly cover unsightly structures and providing shade for other plants[
Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[
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[
E. Asia - India, Sri Lanka, China, throughout southeast Asia to the Pacific Islands.
Light shade in evergreen forests[
]. Found in wet soils and never in places where the soil becomes seasonally dry[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
The roots can be planted in a shady position, allowing the plant to climb up into the sun[
]. Prefers a neutral to slightly acid soil[
]. Requires a moist soil that does not become dry[
Young leaves - cooked and used as a vegetable[
The plant has been used as a childbirth medicine[
]. It is used as a contraceptive, the root and stem being taken internally[
]. It is also used to treat children's illnesses[
The pounded leaves are applied to wounds[
The plant stems are used throughout the lowland regions of New Guinea as a binding and lashing twine[
]. They are of uniform diameter and extremely tough, wiry and durable[
]. It is used for the tying of floats to outriggers and other lashing requirements on canoes[
The best known use of the stems is in making finely woven basket ware, originally from the Bougainville area and known as 'Buka baskets', a technique now copied in many parts of the country[
Splints prepared from the stems are used in the manufacture of baskets, hats, and fancy boxes[
]. 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[
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[
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