Weed profile: Cat's claw creeper - Weed of National Significance
Cat’s claw creeperDolichandra unguis-cati (previously Macfadyena unguis-cati)
Cat’s claw creeper is a woody climber with stems extending over 20 m. The leaves have two leaflets, with a three-clawed tendril (the cat's claw) growing between them. The vine produces long, flat, narrow pods 15 to 45 cm long which contain numerous winged seeds 2 to 4 cm long including the wing. Swollen underground tubers grow along the roots. Flowers are large, bright yellow, bell-shaped and produced in spring.
Cat’s claw creeper is native to tropical America and a garden escape in NSW. Cat's claw creeper is an aggressive climber which completely smothers shrubs and trees.
It is now widespread and common in coastal areas of NSW north of Sydney especially along coastal and hinterland streams in northern NSW. It has been declared a Weed of National Significance in Australia.