Common name: Cat's Claw Creeper, Cat's Claw Trumpet, Funnel Creeper
Dolichandra unguis-cati (L.) L.G.Lohmann APNI*
Synonyms: Macfadyena unguis-cati (L.) A.H.Gentry APNI*
Bignonia unguis-cati L. APNI*
Description: Woody climber, climbing by tripartite, hooked (uncinate) tendrils (often said to resemble claws) and adventitious roots, glabrous.
Leaves with the terminal leaflet modified into a 3-clawed tendril, each claw c. 10–15 mm long (tendrils absent from some leaves); leaflets usually 2 (rarely 1 or 5 in juveniles), with lamina ovate to oblong-elliptic, 2–7 cm long, 10–30 mm wide, glabrous, apex ± acuminate, margin entire to obscurely toothed; petiole 10–20 cm long; petiolules 5–15 mm long.
Panicles axillary, sometimes reduced to 1 or 3 flowers. Flowers: calyx c. 10–15 mm long; corolla yellow often with darker or orangey lines in tube, 4–8 cm long, lobes to c. 2 cm long, ± white-ciliate margin.
Capsule linear, 15–45 cm long, 8–13 mm wide, leathery, ± smooth; seeds 2-winged, 20–40 mm long.
Distribution and occurrence: chiefly in coastal districts north from Sydney. Native of Brazil & Argentina.
An invasive weed in disturbed rainforest, sclerophyll forest, woodland, scrub and riparian vegetation, often in gullies and creekbanks.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *NT, *NWS, *CWS, *NWP
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic.
Declared Noxious Weed
Cultivated as an ornamental that has become a garden escape weed.
Text by A.L. Quirico, Flora of New South Wales Vol. 3: 540 (1992), as Macfadyena unguis-cati; last revised May 2017, P.G. Kodela
Taxon concept: Australian Plant Census (accessed May 2017)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.