Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Cat's claw creeper (499)

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  • Worldwide distribution. In Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, Guam, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Vanuatu.
  • Aggressive, invasive climbing woody weed of grasslands, primary and secondary forests, orchards, gardens, roadsides, riverbanks, growing in full sun and shade. Important environmental weed (Australia) in native forest, smothering trees, and carpeting forest floor; important along waterways.
  • Young-leaf stage grows over ground. Later, tubers and flowers form on climbing vines up to 20m. Leaves opposite, each with two oval leaflets, and terminal tendrils (‘cat’s claw’). Flowers, yellow, trumpet-shaped up to 8cm. Long, narrow seedpods, with many two-winged brown seeds.
  • Spread: stems develop from rhizome, roots from nodes. Long distances by seed on wind and in water, and as ornamental.
  • Biosecurity: check imports of ornamental plants.
  • Biocontrol: in South Africa, beetle, Charidotis auroguttata; in Australia, leaf-sucking tingid, Carvalhotingis visenda, and jewel beetle, Hylaeogena jureceki.
  • Cultural control: hand-pulling or slashing (collect all plant pieces). Clean machinery/vehicles.
  • Chemical control: in Australia, glyphosate; triclopyr + picloram; picloram + aminopyralid. Spray or cut-stump application.
Common Name

Cat's claw creeper. It is also known as cat's claw vine, funnel creeper, yellow trumpet vine.

Scientific Name

Macfadyena unguis-cati; previously, it was known as Bignonia unguis-cati, Dolichandra unguis-cati, and Doxantha unguis-cati.

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from PIER (2013) Macfadyena unguis-cati (L.) A.H.Gentry, Bignoniaceae. Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER), Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry. (; and CABI (2019) Dolichandra unguis-cati (cat's claw creeper). Invasive Species Compendium. (; and from Cat's claw creeper (Dolichandra unguis-cati) (2018) NSW WeedWise. Department of Primary Industries, NSW Government. ( Photos 1-6 Forrest & Kim Starr, Starr Environmental,

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project HORT/2016/185: Responding to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture in the Pacific islands, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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