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Cats Claw Vine

Cats Claw Vine

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Cats Claw Vine

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  1. Cats Claw Vine Macfadyena unguis-cati (L.) Bignoniaceae

  2. Biology • Native to West Indies, Mexico and Argentina • Name comes from three-pronged claw-like climbing appendages • High climbing woody vine, over 50 feet in length • Similar to native cross-vine (Bignonia capreolata) which has red-orange flowers

  3. Background Economic Uses • Brought to Florida as an ornamental • Fragrant and showy flowers • Attractive foliage

  4. Distribution • Found in several areas of north and central Florida – prevalent in Alachua Co. • Found along roadways and disturbed areas, forest edges, undisturbed hammocks • Generally as an escape from cultivation • Isolated infestations in other areas of south Florida

  5. Cats Claw Vine Distribution in Florida

  6. Impacts • Category 1 invasive species (FLEPPC) • spreads into undisturbed sites • Although slow growth, very long-lived and persistent • Creates a dense mat that covers forest floor • Can climb into trees and smother canopy

  7. Identification

  8. Mature Plant • Climbing vine, but not twining • Produces a large tuber that allows for regrowth • Stems covered with lenticels (small pits)

  9. Leaves and Tendrils • Oppositely arranged • Dark green and compound with 2 leaflets • Tendrils forked with distinct “claws”

  10. Flowers and Fruit • Flowers are yellow, trumpet shaped, 3 inches long • Fruit capsules are linear and flat, 20 inches long • Seeds are winged and wind dispersed

  11. Management Preventative Cultural Mechanical Biological Chemical

  12. Preventative • Limit planting as an ornamental • Remove existing plants, including resprouts and before seeds are produced • Rouge out vines in abandoned areas

  13. Cultural • Alternative landscape plants to replace cats claw vine • Programs to educate homeowners about the problems associated with this vine and proper identification • Maintain good ground cover and mixture of plant species to reduce establishment

  14. Biological • There are no known biological control agents available for cats claw vine management in Florida or the southeastern U.S.

  15. Mechanical • Hand pull young seedlings, including all roots, repeated pulling for resprouts • Cut vine down at ground level • Mowing is effective, although likely impractical, but must be repeated

  16. Chemical - Foliar • Over-the-top applications for seedlings, resprouts and small vines • Thoroughly wet leaves with herbicide • Triclopyr – 2% solution • Glyphosate – 2 to 3% solution • Use surfactant at 0.25% • Best results applied July to October

  17. Chemical - Basal • Use 100% triclopyr solution with basal oil • Apply 12 to 15 inches above ground on tree trunk • Wet thoroughly for good control, spray until run-off is noticeable at ground line

  18. Chemical – Cut Stump • Cut stems horizonally at or near ground level • Apply 100% solution of glyphosate or triclopyr • Cover the entire cut stem • Marker (blue) dye is helpful

  19. Useful Links • Floridata Homepage: http://www.floridata.com/main_fr.cfm?state=Welcome&viewsrc=welcome.htm • University of Florida Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants: http://aquat1.ifas.ufl.edu/welcome.html • University of Florida’s Cooperative Extension Electronic Data Information Source: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/index.html

  20. Useful Links • The Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group. Weeds Gone Wild: Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas: http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/index.htm • Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER). Plant Threats to Pacific Ecosystems: http://www.hear.org/pier/threats.htm • Invasive Plants of the Eastern United States: http://www.invasive.org

  21. Literature Cited Langeland, K.A. and K. Craddock Burks. 1998. Identification and Biology of Non-Native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas. IFAS Publication SP 257. University of Florida, Gainesville. 165 pp