Tuber Ladder Fern
Davalliaceae - Nephrolepis cordifolia

What does it look like?

Terrestrial or epiphytic fern which grows to 1m, with small, erect, scaly rhizomes which produce many long runners and round, 1-3 cm hairy potato-like tubers. Fronds (40-100 x 5-8 cm) are erect or arching when long, with serrated, divided leaflets.

Why is it a problem?

Spreads by spores, runners and tubers, and forms dense, long-lived patches which are often large. Grows in the damp or dry, on the ground or in trees, in the open or the shade, in most soil types and in hot to moderately cool temperatures.

Crowds out groundcovers, shrubs and other ferns, and can contribute to streamside erosion.

Control Methods

Physical control

  • Pull out and leave on site to rot down. Dispose of tubers and runners at a refuse transfer station, burn or bury.

Herbicide control

  • Spray with metsulfuron-methyl 600g/kg (1g/10L). Leave sprayed sites 3-4 months to allow herbicide to translocate to tubers before clearing or replanting.

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