Old World climbing fern Facts

Old World climbing fern Facts
Old World climbing fern is vascular plant that belongs to the family of climbing ferns. It originates from Africa, Asia, Australia and Pacific islands, but it can be found around the world today. Old World climbing fern grows on the moist soil (or even in the standing water), exposed to direct sunlight or in the partial shade. It can be found in subtropical and tropical areas, usually in wetlands, marshes, mangroves, prairies, woodlands and floodplains. Old World climbing fern is classified as noxious weed in all countries outside its native range.
Interesting Old World climbing fern Facts:
Old World climbing fern develops vine-like leafy branches (modified leaves, called fronds) designed for climbing. They can reach 125 feet in length.
Old World climbing fern has wiry, brown rhizomes which form dense mats on the ground.
Old World climbing fern grows both on the ground and over the shrubs and trees.
Old World climbing fern suffocates plants upon which it grows and creates shadow which prevents normal growth of understory plants.
Old World climbing fern produces two types of leaves: non-reproductive and reproductive. Non-reproductive leaves are oblong or lanceolate. Reproductive leaves have pointed lobes on the edges. They bear sacs filled with spores (called sporangia).
Old World climbing fern reproduces through alteration of generations. It produces two morphologically different types of plants: gametophyte and sporophyte.
Gametophyte is rarely seen in the wild, due to small size and unattractive morphology. Sporophyte generation is what is known as Old World climbing fern.
Sporophyte generation produces spores (miniature cells), basic units of asexual reproduction. When exposed to moisture, spores germinate and develop prothallus - green, heart-shaped structure which represents gametophyte generation. Prothallus produces male and female reproductive structures filled with sperm cells and eggs. Old World climbing fern is monoecious species (it produces both types of reproductive structures on the same prothallus). Like other species of fern, Old World climbing fern requires water for the successful fertilization of eggs (fusion of eggs and sperm cells takes place in the water). Fertilized eggs develop into sporophyte generation and cycle starts all over again.
Old World climbing fern does not reproduce seasonally. Both sphorophyte and gametophyte generation can be seen in the wild all year round.
Old World climbing fern can also propagate via division of any part of the plant.
Dense growth of Old World climbing fern facilitates spreading of wildfires.
Old World climbing fern decreases biodiversity in the wild and negatively affects survival of Florida black bear, herons, egrets, wood stork, snail kite and Sherman's fox squirrel.
Leafy branches of Old World climbing fern can be used for weaving of various ornamental items.
Old World climbing fern has anti-inflammatory (prevents inflammation) and anti-diuretic (reduces urine volume) properties.
Old World climbing fern is perennial plant (lifespan: more than 2 years).

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