Macfadyena unguis-cati     
Cat claw ivy   
Bignoniaceae Family     

Compiled by the Master Gardeners
of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension.


Form: clinging, climbing vine
close-up of vine
characteristic tendrils of Macfadyena unguis-cati
Seasonality: evergreen, may lose some leaves in cold
Size: to 25ft or greater, with equal spread; aggressively climbs anything
Leaves: double leaf, glossy green, two leaflets per petiole, leaflets 2in long; 3-pronged claw-like climbing appendage
Flowers: solitary, bright yellow, funnel-shaped, short blooming period in early summer
Fruit: very long thin pod, 12-18in long but only 1/2 wide; persistent
Stems/Trunks: tenacious climbing vine
Range/Origin: Central America
Hardiness: handles 20°F



Macfadyena unguis-cati
Macfadyena unguis-cati in bloom

  • Exposure: full sun, part shade, takes heat; best on well-exposed walls
  • Water: natural rainfall okay, drought tolerant; lusher quality on regular irrigation
  • Soil: tolerant, best in uniform soil (sandy or clay)
  • Propagation: seeds, cuttings, or underground tubers
  • Maintenance: moderate; flower drop; self-attaches on almost any wall surface; can be difficult to eradicate


Macfadyena unguis-cati
Catclaw vine growing on an arch

close-up of flower

aka Cat's claw vine, Yellow trumpet vine
good choice for hot walls

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This page was first created July 6, 2001 and last modified March 14, 2006.

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