Lygodium palmatum (Bernh.) Sw. - American Climbing Fern


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Lygodium palmatum - (image 1 of 5)



Family: Lygodiaceae




Moist open woods and thickets, in poorly drained acidic soil.




Southern NH and eastern and central NY, to OH and southwest MI, south to FL and MS.


Perennial from a black, wiry, creeping, dichotomously branched rhizome. Leaves to 3 m, the rachis stem-like, flexuous; leaflets on stalks 1-2 cm, deeply cordate and palmately 3-7-lobed; lobes triangular-elongate to oblong, acute to blunt or rounded at the apex; fertile pinnae several times dichotomously branched; sporangia 6-10 per segment.


Sori produced June to August

Wetland indicator: FACW

Another common name is Hartford Fern.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY


Nauman, C.E. 1993. Lygodium. In: Flora of North America North of
Mexico, Vol. 2. Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford.


USDA, NRCS. 2002. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (

National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.




 Michael Hough 2018