Family: Shizaeaceae

Native to tropical and subtropical rainforests, these ferns number about 45 species. Although lygodiums have underground rhizomes, they are called climbing ferns as the fine, wiry frond stalks can climb to considerable heights. The leaflets are quite variable.


L. japonicum, widespread in Asia and also in parts of Australia, is a very attractive species which twists and climbs to a height of several metres (yards). It has quite deeply divided, lobed pinnae.

L. microphyllum (Synonym: L. scandens), climbing maiden hair, has simple, triangular pinnae, spaced alternately on the twining stalks. With a wide natural range, it is fairly easily to cultivate.


In frost-prone climates, grow in a warm greenhouse, in pots of soil-based potting compost, with added peat and chopped up sphagnum moss, plus a few charcoal lumps. Give good light, but shade from direct sun. Mist spray plants each day when in full growth. Propagate by division in spring.


Zone 10 and above. Subtropical and tropical.

Lycoris      Lysichiton