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DistributionMore info for the terms: fern, ferns, nonnative species
Japanese climbing fern is native from India, east through southeastern Asia and China to Japan and Korea, and south to eastern Australia (Singh and Panigrahi 1984 as cited in ). North American establishment was first recorded in the early 1900s in Georgia (Clute 1903 as cited in ). Japanese climbing fern is now introduced throughout the southeastern United States from Texas and Arkansas to North Carolina, and also in Puerto Rico (Proctor 1989, Nauman 1993 as cited in ). It is considered a "problem weed" from central Florida west across the southern half of the Gulf states .
Old World climbing fern is native to tropical and subtropical areas of Africa, southeastern Asia, northern and eastern Australia, and the Pacific islands (reviewed by [5,24]). In North America it is found in southern and central Florida [21,44]. Large parts of the Caribbean, Central and South America, and perhaps coastal areas of southern Louisiana and Texas may also be vulnerable to Old World climbing fern invasion [10,23,25]. Old World climbing fern was first collected from the wild in southern Florida in 1960 . As of 2005, Florida Plant Atlas  showed Old World climbing fern distribution in southern Florida from coast to coast and as far north as Hillsborough and Brevard counties. Ecological/climate modeling indicates Old World climbing fern could become established throughout most of southern Florida, with northern distribution extending furthest along the coasts .
Ferriter  reviewed the history of climbing fern invasion in the southeastern U.S.
The Flora of North America provides distribution maps of climbing ferns.
The following biogeographic classification systems demonstrate where Japanese climbing fern (labeled with the abbreviation J) and Old World climbing fern (O) could potentially be found based on floras and other literature, herbarium samples, and confirmed observations. Precise distribution information is unavailable. In general, predicting distribution of nonnative species in North America is difficult due to gaps in understanding of their biological and ecological characteristics, and because they may still be expanding their range. Therefore, these lists are speculative and may be imprecise.