Dolichandra unguis-cati has semipersistent foliage. Stems are woody and can reach 20 meters. Thin and small aerial roots are used for climbing. Leaves are dark green, opposite and bifoliate. Leaflets have a length of 3 to 4 cm. The plant produces flowers during the wet season. Flowers are yellow, have a diameter of 4 to 5 cm and can grow alone or in groups of 2 or 3. Long primary roots extend beneath the soil surface, producing large tubers 40–50 centimetres long. Fruits are brown flattened capsules from 25 to 95 cm long. Each capsule contains 100 to 200 seeds.
Distribution and habitat
This plant is native to the tropical dry forest of Central America, South America and the Caribbean. In these natural areas it occurs from sea level to over 600 meters above sea level and where the rainfall is 750 to 2400 mm per year. It can become invasive and it is present worldwide. It can affect all layers of plants of forest ecosystems by rapidly spreading both vertically and horizontally.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dolichandra unguis-cati.|
- "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species".
- "USDA GRIN Taxonomy".
- "Cat's claw creeper (Macfadyena unguis-cati)". Brisbane Rainforest Newsletter; Brisbane Rainforest Action & Information Network. April 1996. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2013.