25 September 2022

Cat's Claw (ThursdayTreeLove)

This post is not on a Thursday but , dear readers, do excuse the lapse on my part!! 

Last weekend, I went on a Tree Walk after a long break..  the pandemic had put brakes on many activities and this was one of them. It was wonderful to reconnect with other tree lovers and meet everyone. 

We visited the SP College which is a very old and prestigious educational institute in Pune. Established in 1916, but naturally it has several old and unique species. It is a great place for tree spotting. 

These are photos outside the main building. 

I would like to draw your attention to the wonderful creeper that is covering the arches of the main entrance and also the Palm growing alongside. It is called Waghnakhi or Cat's Claw. Botanically it goes by the name of Dolichandra unguis-catii of the Bignoniaceae family. It is an introduced species in Pune and originally is from South America. Having said that, it is found at many places in our city and looks spectacular when in full bloom. 

The plant draws its common name from the claw like tendril that grows between the leaflets . Cat's Claw has compound leaves that consist of two (usually oval) leaflets.  The creeper uses these claw like structures to grab on to surfaces and grow on them.
If you look closely, the claw like tendril is visible

Can you spot the claw like tendril

Its yellow flowers are tube like and have five lobes. When in full bloom, this is a spectacular sight as the plant resembles a yellow floral waterfall - as the plant usually grows almost as tall as the surface/wall it is growing on.. the Palm tree as in this case. 
As always happens, I cannot locate the photo of a Cat's Claw in full bloom .. you will have to trust my word for how wonderful it looks! :-) :-) 

Have you seen this wonderful creeper? 

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove bloghop. Do head over to see some wonderful trees from around the world. Better still, join in!


Alana said...

No, I haven't knowingly seen cat's claw but I understand it has spread so much in our United States state of Florida that it is considered invasive. When I saw that palm, I thought, I have never seen a creeper plant on a palm tree! I lived in Florida many years ago and it may have been before the cat's claw really spread. It does have an interesting flower, though.

JoAnna said...

The vine and leaves look similar to something that is prolific here in the southeastern US. However, I have never seen the beautifully simple yellow flower.

Archana said...

Thanks @Alana! Your comments are always so insightful and informative!! :-)

Archana said...

@JoAnna I guess this plant maybe growing there in the US as well.. yes the flower is very pretty. Thanks for stopping by! :-)

https://linsartyblobs.blogspot.com said...

I've not seen anything like that before, so interesting.

Mascha said...

Never sen a cat's claw before - we have only ivy on our buildings or obn the trunks of trees... but when it blooms (not spectacular) it is full of insects/pollinators.
Greetings from Germany

Parul said...

This is so unique. At first, I did not believe this was in Pune and then as I read your post, I was so so intrigued. Lovely find, Archana and thanks for educating us on the creeper. Never seen anything like this before.
See you tomorrow!

Archana said...

@Linn Thank you for stopping by! Thats the beauty of TTL...seeing wonderful trees from around the world!

Archana said...

@Mascha Hello! Thanks for stopping by! :-)

Archana said...

@Parul! Happy to participate in TTL! :-)

Vinitha said...

I haven't seen anything like this before, Archana. It's unique and beautiful. Thank you for sharing. :)

Archana said...

@Vinitha Glad you found something new here. Thank you so much for stopping by! :-)