WEED ALERT: Cat's Claw Creeper (Macfadyena unguis-cati)

Cat’s claw creeper (Macfadyena unguis-cati)

Class 3 Weed in Nambucca - Report any known infestation (anonymously) to Nambucca Shire Council or online at North Coast Local Land Services

Cat’s claw creeper (Macfadyena unguis-cati) a native to Central and South America was introduced to Australia as a garden plant, and has escaped to become a major weed of native forests and riparian areas in eastern Australia. Cat’s claw creeper is a woody vine that clings to tree trunks very tightly, enabling it to grow into the forest canopy where it can kill mature trees. It also competes with native plants by forming a dense above-ground mat and numerous underground reproductive tubers. It reproduces from seed which are dispersed by wind or water and tubers which can grow to the size of footballs.

Figure 1: Opposite leaves with three pronged tendril


Figure 2: Distinct yellow flowers in late spring


There are few methods for control of Cat’s Claw Creeper but the most effective and recommended is to use Glyphosate to Cut and Paint vines leading up trees and spray seedlings/ on ground runners. The vine will readily die once cut from below ground root system and there is no need to bag or remove it from tree.

Figure 3: Seedling on forest floor


Figure 4: Juvenile seedpod that can reach over 30cm in length




WEED ALERT: Tropical Soda Apple (Solanum viarum)

Tropical Soda Apple (TSA) originates from South America, this shrub has golf ball sized fruit that have a watermelon pattern when immature and turn bright yellow when ripe. The plant has thorny leaves and stems and grows up to two metres in height.