Catclaw Vine

Dolichandra unguis-cati

Other Common Names

Cat’s Claw Vine

Plant Category

Perennial, Vine

Invasive Description

Native to southern Mexico and Central America, Catclaw Vine’s name comes from the 3-pronged, claw-like tendrils that are capable of grasping almost any surface. It can easily scramble up most walls without support. The vine blooms in early spring with a short, intense flush of large, showy, yellow trumpet-shaped flowers. It is very drought tolerant, with established plants putting on vigorous growth, despite being watered by annual rainfall alone. A fast-growing vine after first year; reaches 10 to 15 ft. tall in one season. Synonym: Macfadyena unguis-cati

Ecological Threat

Because of it drought tolerance and very fast growth, Catclaw Vine forms dense mats that can cover the forest floor and smother native vegetation, including whole trees.

It is sold in nurseries in the Southwest as a desirable plant because of its drought tolerance and pretty flowers.

How to Eradicate

For information on how to eradicate this invasive, view our statement on herbicide use and preferred alternatives for invasive plants.

Native Alternatives

You can replace this invasive plant with native alternatives. Here are some plants that make superior replacements.

Match your location on the Texas map to the color squares on the replacement plants below to find suitable replacements for your ecoregion.

Click for more details about the ecoregions
Additional Replacement Options: Trachelospermum difforme