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 is a shrub or small tree, usually with multiple stems arising from or below ground level[
]. The plant can be spineless or armed with spines about 5mm long[
]. It can grow up to 8 metres tall, but is more commonly about 3 metres[
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[
Northern S. America - Colombia, Guyana and Venezuela, north to the West Indies and through Central America to Mexico.
Thickets on arid limestone, forming open woodland on the edges of salt marshes[
]. 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[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
With few exceptions, the plant grows in areas receiving less than 1,000 mm of annual precipitation[
Prefers a sunny position and a well-drained soil[
]. All soil textures appear to be tolerated[
]. The plant appears to tolerate salt spray and salty groundwater[
The plant has become naturalized in parts of Florida and has the potential to become a weed[
Produces a taproot and abundant lateral and fine roots[
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[
]. Sometimes consumed as food[
]. The arils (fleshy parts surrounding the seeds) are eaten[
The bark is said to be febrifuge[
]. A decoction is used as a wash[
A useful hedge plant, since it is not eaten by livestock[
The seeds are used in ornamental seed work[
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