Friday, July 16, 2010

House Eater

Macfadyena unguis-cati (Cat's Claw Vine) is an invasive woody vine that can rapidly envelop a house. The plant can grow to 120' lengths, with 1/2" diameters. As the plant grows and becomes heavier, it can cause building collapse. There is a native counterpart called Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine), which may be distinguished by its reddish-orange flowers rather than the yellowish flowers of Cat's Claw Vine.

Image above: Unidentifed photographer. Unidentified House, New Orleans, c. 1980. Miscellaneous Photographs Collection, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

3 comments:

sussah said...

And 2010 has also been a good year for the cat's claw vine. It must be on a 30 year cycle. That's an amazing picture. sp

Eira said...

It feels like every single day I have to tear down new runners of these before they totally devour my house. I certainly don't remember it being this vicious the last two years!

Keli Rylance said...

Longue Vue Gardens has been teaching some great Native Plants workshops. This month they did one on invasive non-natives, which included Cat's Claw Vine, and described techniques for dealing with them. They are going to be posting the information on their website soon.