Tuber Ladder Fern

Also known as:
Tuber Sword Fern, Chinese Ladder Fern, Boston Fern

General description

Upright rambling fern with densely pinnate fronds <80cm long. Produces numerous spore masses per leaflet. Only fern with tubers, round, potato-like, to 2 cm wide.

Banks, rocky outcrops, open forest, roadsides, epiphyte perches.

Wind borne spores. Spreads vegetatively from tubers & runners.

Forms dense masses, crowding out other vegetation, becoming the dominant species.

Site management

Often mistaken for a native plant. Easy to kill. Leave treated sites 3-4 months to kill tubers before clearing or replanting.

Recommended approaches

1. Dig out taking care to remove all tubers.
2. Weed wipe (2g metsulfuron/1L)
3. Spray (1g metsulfuron/10L).

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

Nephrolepis flexuosa

The native, N. flexuosa, has narrower fronds, and these are more gracile and drooping. The plant lacks tubers. It is also much less common, being associated with active geothermal systems of the Taupo Volcanic Zone .

RPMS status

Surveillance - Whole Region
Community Initiatives - Whole Region
National Pest Plant Accord species - nationwide
tuber ladder fern - Main species image