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German wasp | Vespula germanica

German wasp

Vespula germanica

Coral bush | Ardisia crenata

Coral bush

Ardisia crenata

Purple loosestrife | Lythrum salicaria

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

Pom pom weed | Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Pom pom weed

Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Canarybird bush | Crotalaria agatiflora

Canarybird bush

Crotalaria agatiflora

Peanut butter cassia | Senna didymobotrya

Peanut butter cassia

Senna didymobotrya

Rubber vine | Cryptostegia grandiflora

Rubber vine

Cryptostegia grandiflora

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Environmental Programmes

In order to tackle our country’s socio-economic challenges, the government adopted the Outcomes based approach to improve government performance and providing focus on service delivery. find out more

Cat's claw creeper

Dolichandra unguis-cati

Common name:

Cat's claw creeper

Scientific name:

Dolichandra unguis-cati (Bignoniaceae)

Alternative common names:

Katteklouranker (Afrikaans), amaziphekati (isiZulu & isiXhosa)

The cat's claw creeper Dolichandra (syn. Macfadyena) unguis-cati is an invasive evergreen climber, climbing as high as 9m with claw-like tendrils between the bright green oblong to lance-shaped leaves, which have a terminal, three-part, claw-like tendril. The bright yellow flowers appear from September to February and are trumpet-shaped, occurring in clusters of two or three, sometimes solitary. Flattened, brown leathery capsules hold the winged, papery seeds. This climber invades forest margins, woodlands, plantations, roadsides and urban open spaces.

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    South America (Mexico to Argentina)

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    Existing legislation: CARA 2002 – Category 1 NEMBA – Category 1b

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Gauteng

    How does it spread?

    Pod-like capsules split opens and release the winged seeds

    Why is it a problem?

    Overtops, strangles and smothers indigenous forest and plantation species

    What does it look like?

    General description: Evergreen climber climbing as high as 9m with claw-like tendrils between the leaves. Leaves: Bright green oblong to lance-shaped leaves with a terminal, three-part, claw-like tendril. Flowers: Bright yellow flowers appearing from September to February, which are trumpet-shaped and up to 80mm long x 100mm wide and occurring in clusters of two or three, sometimes solitary. Fruit/Seeds: Flattened brown leathery capsules up to 300 mm or longer which split open to release the winged, papery seeds

    Does the plant have any uses?

    Grown as an ornamental plant

    Plant me instead alternatives

    Canary creeper (Senecio tamoides), black-eyed susan (Thunbergia alata), traveller’s joy (Clematis brachiata)

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General News Updates

2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasio…

26-02-2019

This is your invitation to South Africa's 2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasions. The convention is hosted by the Centre for Invasion Biology (CIB), University of Stellenbosch, and the Biolo... Read more

2019 Invasive Species Training

22-01-2019

During the past five years (2014-2018), ISSA invasive species trainers have trained 4 000 in the identification of invasive species and laws pertaining to invasive species across South Africa.  ... Read more

Alien Grass Working Group

04-09-2018

Who are we? The South African National Alien Grass Working Group was jointly initiated by the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Centre for Excellence in Invasion Biology (C·I·B) in... Read more

Permits for planting indigenous Cynodon?

01-03-2018

On 16 February, 2018, South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs issued amendments to the regulations and lists relating to the National List of Invasive Species.  Updates to the draft&n... Read more

Invasive species training 2018 dates released

28-02-2018

Interested in invasive species?  How much do you know about NEMBA invasive species compliance for landowners and organs of state? The South African Green Industries Council (SAGIC) have released... Read more

Communications post for Africa advertised

25-01-2018

The Nature Conservancy has advertised a brand new post:  Communications Manager, Africa Region. Knowledge of invasive species and water would be an asset in this post. See details below:    Job Titl... Read more