Alien Invasives

Cat's Claw Creeper (Dolichandra unguis-cati)


05 October 2016

Cat's Claw Creeper (Dolichandra unguis-cati)

The cat's claw creeper is an invasive evergreen climber, capable of reaching 9 metres high with its claw-like tendrils. The leaves are bright green, oblong to lance-shaped with a terminal, three-part, claw-like tendril. Bright yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers appear from September to February in clusters of two or three, sometimes solitary. Flattened, brown, leathery pods carry the winged, papery seeds.

Other names
Macfadyena unguis-cati (syn.) Katteklouranker (Afrikaans)
amaziphekati (isiZulu & isiXhosa)
Invasive status
NEMBA Category 1b
CARA 2002 Category 1

Cat's Claw Creeper
Originally from
South America (Mexico to Argentina)
Where is it a problem?
KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Gauteng
How does it spread?
Seed dispersal by wind
Why is it a problem?
Overtops, strangles and smothers indigenous forest and plantation species especially forest margins, woodlands, plantations, roadsides and urban open spaces.
Planting alternatives
Canary Creeper (Senecio tamoides), Black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata), Traveller’s Joy (Clematis brachiata)

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