If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Tropical Plants

Pithecellobium unguis-cati

(L.) Benth.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Feuilleea unguis-cati (L.) Kuntze

Inga microphylla Humb., Bonpl. ex Willd.

Inga rosea (Vahl) Steudel ex DC.

Inga unguis-cati (L.) Willd.

Mimosa rosea Vahl

Mimosa unguis-cati L.

Pithecellobium guaricense Pittier

Pithecellobium larensis L.Cárdenas

Pithecellobium microchlamys Pittier

Pithecellobium microphyllum Benth.

Pithecellobium oblongum Benth.

Pithecellobium pulchellum Pittier

Zygia unguis-cati (L.) Sudw.

Common Name: Cat's Claw

Pithecellobium unguis-cati
Small shrub
Photograph by: Jenny Evans
Creative Commons License
Pithecellobium unguis-cati Pithecellobium unguis-cati Pithecellobium unguis-cati Pithecellobium unguis-cati

General Information

Cat's claw is a shrub or small tree, usually with multiple stems arising from or below ground level[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
]. The plant can be spineless or armed with spines about 5mm long[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. It can grow up to 8 metres tall, but is more commonly about 3 metres[
356
Title
The Useful and Ornamental Plants of Trinidad and Tobago.
Publication
 
Author
Williams. R. O. & Williams. R. O. Jnr.
Publisher
Self Published in Trinidad and Tobago.
Year
1951
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a wide range of plants both native and introduced to Trinidad and Tobago. Gives a brief description of the plant and some of its local uses.
].
The edible fruit is sometimes gathered from the wild for local use. The plant is sometimes cultivated as living fence in Florida and in tropical Africa[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

Northern S. America - Colombia, Guyana and Venezuela, north to the West Indies and through Central America to Mexico.

Habitat

Thickets on arid limestone, forming open woodland on the edges of salt marshes[
426
Title
Flowering Plants of Jamaica
Publication
 
Author
Adams. C.D.
Publisher
University of the West Indies; Jamaica.
Year
1972
ISBN
 
Description
A terse treatment of the flowering plants of Jamaica, with a botanical description of each plant, notes on habitat etc.
]. Because of reduced competition from trees, it tends to grow on sand dunes, coastal strands and keys, and on shallow rocky soils, sometimes forming thickets[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitShrub
Height4.00 m
PollinatorsBees
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

With few exceptions, the plant grows in areas receiving less than 1,000 mm of annual precipitation[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].
Prefers a sunny position and a well-drained soil[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
]. All soil textures appear to be tolerated[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
]. The plant appears to tolerate salt spray and salty groundwater[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].
The plant has become naturalized in parts of Florida and has the potential to become a weed[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].
Produces a taproot and abundant lateral and fine roots[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
755
Title
Nodulation Plants in GRIN Taxonomy
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ars-grin.gov/~sbmljw/cgi-bin/taxnodul.pl?language=en
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database listing plants that have either positive or negative reports on root and stem nodulation with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
].

Edible Uses

Fruits[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. Sometimes consumed as food[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. The arils (fleshy parts surrounding the seeds) are eaten[
483
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 59.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Boston, Mass.
Year
1978
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical magazine, it contains an Ethnoflora of Chokoloskee Island, Florida. It can be downloaded from the internet.
].

Medicinal

The bark is said to be febrifuge[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
]. A decoction is used as a wash[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

Agroforestry Uses:

A useful hedge plant, since it is not eaten by livestock[
356
Title
The Useful and Ornamental Plants of Trinidad and Tobago.
Publication
 
Author
Williams. R. O. & Williams. R. O. Jnr.
Publisher
Self Published in Trinidad and Tobago.
Year
1951
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a wide range of plants both native and introduced to Trinidad and Tobago. Gives a brief description of the plant and some of its local uses.
,
426
Title
Flowering Plants of Jamaica
Publication
 
Author
Adams. C.D.
Publisher
University of the West Indies; Jamaica.
Year
1972
ISBN
 
Description
A terse treatment of the flowering plants of Jamaica, with a botanical description of each plant, notes on habitat etc.
].

Other Uses

The seeds are used in ornamental seed work[
356
Title
The Useful and Ornamental Plants of Trinidad and Tobago.
Publication
 
Author
Williams. R. O. & Williams. R. O. Jnr.
Publisher
Self Published in Trinidad and Tobago.
Year
1951
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a wide range of plants both native and introduced to Trinidad and Tobago. Gives a brief description of the plant and some of its local uses.
].

Propagation

Seed -

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.