This self-climbing, self-attaching evergreen is a fast, aggressive grower that climbs to heights of twenty-five feet or higher with an equal spread. The foliage has with two green leaflets and an interesting three-pronged claw. Its tendrils work as an appendage, clinging onto most walls. In late spring, the vine produces a bright yellow, showy, funnel-shaped bloom with five petals. After flowering, it develops a thin seedpod that opens, dispersing winged, brown seeds. Its stems are reddish-brown aging to a dark green color. This long-living vine is a great choice for covering an unsightly or hot wall in a hurry. Use it to soften a wall or side of a building. It can also be used as a screen on walls, lattice, or trellises, and on slopes for erosion control. This plant is native to the West Indies, Mexico, Brazil, and parts of Argentina. The cat’s claw vine is considered an invasive plant in many parts of the world.
The cat’s claw is hardy to about twenty degrees Fahrenheit. This vine does best in full sun with reflected heat. It is drought-tolerant but grows quickly with regular irrigation, and likes sandy or clay soil that is well-draining. Prune aggressively to the ground in late spring every few years to prevent it from becoming too woody and heavy on the wall. It will grow back quickly after major pruning and will start to re-attach itself to any wall surface. The cat’s claw produces extensive underground tubers that are hard to eradicate.