Vine-like fern

Lygodium japonicum


Photo credit: ©Ronald F. Billings/Texas A&M Forest Service
Lygodium japonicum
  • This species is a rhizomatous vine, climbing up to 30m. The rhizome is black with red-brown hairs and stripes. Its fronds are small and typical of a fern.

Origin and Worldwide Distribution:
  • This species is native to south-east Asia, and has become introduced to the United States of America, Puerto Rico and Australia.

Potential or Known Impacts:
  • This species has negative impacts on trees as it grows on them; many commercial forestry owners use chemical control on this species to ensure that their timber is profitable.
  • It can also spread fires easily in areas with a high density on individuals.
  • It can outcompete native species by reducing the light levels to the forest floors.

How could it get here?
  • This species could be introduced as an ornamental species and for human consumption as both food and an insect repellent.
  • Spores could be introduced to new areas due to it being sold as traditional Chinese medicine on the Internet.

Is it found in  Northern Ireland?
  • This species is not present in Northern Ireland.

Methods for Prevention:
  • EU-level action includes a ban on sales and any planting or keeping, including in aquaria, as well as rapid eradication of any new populations to avoid the excessively high costs associated with its management later on.
  • Report all sightings.
  • Know what you grow.
  • Don't swap cuttings with other people.

You can help by reporting any sightings: @ the Centre for Environmental Data & Recording (CEDaR) - Or via the iRecord App.
Current Legislative Position (Listed on 14 August 2019)
  • This species must not intentionally be brought into the Union; kept; bred; transported to, from or within the United Kingdom, unless for the transportation to facilities in the context of eradication; placed on the market; used or exchanged; permitted to reproduce, grown or cultivated; or released into the environment.
For further queries, you can contact the Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) Team in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on 028 9056 9558 or Email:  
Invasive Species Northern Ireland

Invasive Species Northern Ireland