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Pithecellobium unguis-cati

Pronunciation: Pith-eh-sell-loh-bee-um un-gu-iss kat-ee
Family: Fabaceae
Common Name: Cat's-claw, catclaw blackbead,madras thorn
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
  • perennial
Height to: 10 to 15 ft
Width to: 10 ft
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Description: Cat's-claw (pithecellobium unguis-cati) produce white to greenish yellow flowers; blooms all year but peaks in the summer
Soil Type: Under glass, grow in soil based potting mix. Outdoors, grow in well drained soil
Plant Perks:
  • Edible
  • Fragrant
  • Suitable for Houseplant
  • Container Gardening
  • Salt Tolerant
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Attracts Butterflies
Pests and Diseases: Spider mites and whiteflies
Propagation: Sow cat's-claw (pithecellobium unguis-cati) seed under glass as soon as ripe. Take greenwood cuttings in early summer; put under mist with bottom heat.
Native to: Florida , mexico
Winter Sowing Zones: None
Notes for Identification:

Cat's-claw (pithecellobium unguis-cati) is an accent plant or small shrub that is hardy in zones 9-10. It has reddish brown bark, growing up to 10-15' in full sun. Likes moist well drained soil. Fragrant white to greenish yellow globose flower heads all year, especially during summer. Provides nectar for the cassius butterfly. Spiny.

WARNING: spiny plant; it is considered an invasive speciesin hawaiilarval host plant for cassius blue (leptotes cassius) and large orange sulphur (phoebis agarithe) butterflies.

Nectar plant for cassius blue butterflies. The seed pods contain a sweet pulp that can be eaten raw or prepared as a smoothie

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
  • Greater then 210 ZONE 12
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
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