Old World Climbing Fern
Old world climbing fern has aggressively invaded the wetlands and hammocks (hardwood forests with deep soils) of Florida and is threatening habitats in the Gulf States. It is considered a problem weed in North Carolina. The fronds of the fern can climb up to 90’ by twining around trees, shrubs, and across the ground. They can covers trees, and are especially a problem in bottomland swamp forests. Groups of leaflets (referred to as ‘pinnae’) grow from the frond oppositely arranged and are about 2 – 5” long. The pinnae are further subdivided into several pairs of leaflets (i.e., pinnules). The pinnules are fringed with rolled-up leaf tissue which covers the sori.
Fact Sheet: Old World Climbing Fern
Fronds: non-reproductive on the left, reproductive on the right.
Photo credit: Peggy Greb, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org