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Macfadyena unguis-cati BIGNONIACEAE Cat's Claw Creeper

Native to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and tropical South America this climber is found in the coastal and sub-coastal areas of South East Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales. It was introduced as a garden plant. Commonly naturalised along waterways and in disturbed rainforests, it smothers and pulls down tall trees. It is fast growing and very hard to eradicate once it has become established. The stems become very robust and woody, clinging to bark with masses of fine tendrils. The leaves are opposite, having two leaflets and a distinctive three-clawed tendril. It has showy yellow tubular flowers 4-8 cm long, mature fruit are dark brown and strap-like, 15-50 cm long and 8-12 mm wide, containing numerous papery, winged seeds. This climber is a liana capable of reachjing 30 m in height. It can reproduce by its underground tubers, which can grow up to a metre long and half a metre wide. It was recently ranked as the fourth most invasive alien plant species in south-eastern Queensland, and is currently regarded as a priority environmental weed in five Natural Resource Management regions. Navie, Sheldon, 2008. It can grow as a ground cover along the forest floor, forming a thick carpet of stems and leaves. This species is a Class 3 Declared Plant in Queensland. Landholders are not required to control it unless their land is adjacent to an environmentally significant area and a Class C Environmental Weed by the Brisbane City Council. Cut and paint with glyphosate 50:50, including tubers.

Leaves and claws


Cat's Claw
Photo: Robert Whyte

Closeup of claws


Cat's Claw
Photo: Robert Whyte

Leaves


Cat's Claw
Photo: Robert Whyte

Claws closeup


Cat's Claw
Photo: Robert Whyte

Large vine on tree


Cat's Claw
Photo: Robert Whyte

Trees swallowed in Ashgrove


catsclaw
Photo: Robert Whyte