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Macfadyena unguis-cati

Cat's Claw   Bignoniaceae
 

Cat's Claw, Macfadyena unguis-cati,

 
Cat's Claw, Macfadyena unguis-cati,

Macfadyena unguis-cati, Doxantha unguis-cati, Bignonia tweediana
Family: Bignoniaceae
Cat's Claw
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 allergic reaction.

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 adventitiousCat's Claw, Macfadyena unguis-cati, 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.

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