Scientific: Macfadyena unguis-cati
Common: cat's claw vine
Family: Bignoniaceae
Origin: Greater and Lesser Antilles, Mexico, Central America, and South America to Argentina. Naturalized in Florida, Texas, Hawaii, New Caledonia, parts of Australia and South Africa.

Pronounciation: Mac-fa-de-EN-a un-GU-is CAT-ii

Hardiness zones:
Sunset 8-24
USDA 9-11 (arid and semiarid regions best)

Landscape Use: Wall covering, trellis, arbor

Form & Character: Evergreen vine, refined, dainty, and wirey.

Growth Habit: Vigorous and climbing from 25 to 100 feet.

Foliage/texture: Dark green, dimorphic, juvenile plants with small leaflets 1 inch long, 1/2 inch wide, mature leaflets rarely seen in Phoenix landscapes are narrowly ovate to lanceolate, 3 to 5 inches long, 1/2 to 2 inches wide, both surfaces sparsely lepidote, tendril deciduous, 3-forked, to 1 inch long, each fork bearing a small horny hook. Stems thin to wiry, strong and flexible, cylindrical; fine texture.

Flowers & fruits: Inflorescences are axillary with one to three flowers. Each flower is 2 to 4 inches; long and tubular with five lobes, calyx is cup like, color is yellow with red-orange lines in the throat. Fruits are a flattened capsule to 12 inches long that produces brown flattened; winged seeds are dispersed by the wind.

Seasonal color: Yellow flowers in late March to early April.

Temperature: VERY heat loving.

Light: Full sun

Soil: Tolerant

Watering: Drought tolerant once established.

Pruning: Prune as needed, can even prune to ground after bloom to reinvigorate growth.

Propagation: Seed and cutting.

Disease and pests: None

Additional comments: Cat claw vine is one of the few heat loving vines for the arid southwest and is thus noted as an excellent performer. It can even be trained to grow up and cover south facing "hot" walls. Needs support when trained as a wall cover because it is known to become top heavy and collapse off a wall. Care should be taken as cat claw vine can vigorously invade the crown of a tree or cover a house.