AZ Arboretums

Macfadyena unguis-cati

Cat's clawCommon: Cat's claw, Yellow trumpet vine
Family: Bignoniaceae
Origin: Central America
Sunset Zone: 8-24
Light: Full sun, partial shade
Soil: Most soils, well drained
Water: Little dry season water once established; young plants need moderate irrigation.

Clings to any support - stone, wood, fence. One of the best plants for hot walls. Heaviest growth at top were plant gets the most sun. Partly deciduous, self-attaching vine that forms underground tubers; provides heavy cover to the top of buildings, up to four stories high. Climbs high and fast by hooked, clawlike forked tendrils, to 25-40 ft.

Leaves divided into two oval, glossy green cladodes, fine overall texture. Blooms in early spring, bearing yellow trumpets to 2 in. long, 1-1/4 in. across; impressive, short-lived color. Slender beans, 12-15 inches long, may follow.

Loses all leaves in cold winters. Difficult to eradicate established plants. Cut back some stems nearly to ground to stimulate new growth lower down; prune whole plant hard after bloom. Roots and upper parts of plant can become aggressive and invasive unless cut back severely and parts of underground roots are dug up. Older top-heavy plants may fall away from walls in high winds.

Formerly known as Doxantha unguis-cati or Bignonia tweediana.