Macfadyena unguis-cati, Doxantha unguis-cati, Bignonia tweediana
Origin: Central America
vine or creeper, full sun, semi-shade, moderate water, regular
water, yellow/orange flowers, irritating.
Self attaching evergreen vine, fast grower to t. Some water in
summer, generally drought tolerant. Propagation: Seeds, cuttings
under mist, offsets. Handling plant may cause skin irritation or
Catís claw is a woody vine or occasionally a scrambling shrub.
The name comes from the tripartite, hooked tendrils resembling an
animalís claws that enable the vine to adhere to tree bark and other
surfaces. Catís claw has a strong and flexible, cylindrical stem
that is brown in color with many lenticels. The stems produce
roots to anchor them tightly to vertical surfaces. Catís claw may
exceed 8 cm in stem diameter and extend more than 20 m into the
crowns of trees. The plant grows and maintains few branches until
the growing tip reaches increased light. The vine can be highly
invasive, and is difficult to control. The compound leaves have two
leaflets with the clawed tendril between them. The leaves are
generally ovate to lanciolate in shape but quite variable in size.
The 4.5 to 10 cm-long tubular flowers have five lobes and are bright
yellow with red-orange lines in the throat. From them develops a
long (up to 75 cm), narrow (1.0-1.5 cm), flattened capsule that
produces brown flattened, winged seeds. Catís claw is native to the
Greater and Lesser Antilles, Mexico, Central America, and South
America to Argentina.