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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 2 | Lygodiaceae

1. Lygodium Swartz, J. Bot. (Schrader). 1800(2): 7, 106. 1801.

Climbing ferns [Greek lygodes, flexible, in reference to the twining rachis]

Clifton E. Nauman

Plants terrestrial. Stems branched, slender. Leaves often more than several meters, 2-pinnate or more divided, climbing by means of twining rachis; fertile pinnae borne toward apex of fertile leaves. Blades of short, alternate primary pinnae. Pinnules ± entire to palmately or pinnately lobed; fertile and sterile pinnae similar or fertile pinnae greatly contracted.

Species ca. 40 (3 in the flora): nearly worldwide, mostly tropical regions, a few species in temperate regions, North America, Asia in Japan, s Africa, Pacific Islands in New Zealand.


Beckner, J. 1968. Lygodium microphyllum, another fern escaped in Florida. Amer. Fern J. 58: 93-94. Nauman, C. E. 1987. Schizaeaceae in Florida. Sida 12: 69-74. Nauman, C. E. and D. F. Austin. 1978. Spread of the exotic fern Lygodium microphyllum in Florida. Amer. Fern J. 68: 65-66.

(Key to species of Lygodium )

1 Pinnules palmately lobed, sterile tissue nearly absent on fertile lobes; petioles borne 1--4 cm apart.   1 Lygodium palmatum
+ Pinnules 1-pinnate to palmately lobed, sterile tissue present on fertile lobes; petioles borne less than 1 cm apart.   (2)
2 (1) Pinnules usually 1-pinnate, primary divisions mostly undivided, usually without basal lobes; lobes absent or rounded, auriculate, not directed toward leaf apex; ultimate segments articulate to petiolules, leaving wiry stalks when detached; blade tissue glabrous abaxially.   2 Lygodium microphyllum
+ Pinnules usually more than 1-pinnate, primary divisions pinnately to palmately lobed or divided, or if undivided with distinct basal lobes; lobes directed toward leaf apex; ultimate segments not articulate to petiolules, not leaving wiry stalks when detached; blade tissue sparsely to moderately pubescent abaxially.   3 Lygodium japonicum

Lower Taxa


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