Dolichandra unguis-cati (L.) A.H.Gentry
Dolichandra unguis-cati is a climber.
Dolichandra unguis-cati was already described and the name validly published by Carl Linnaeus. It was LÃºcia Garcez Lohmann, however, who reclassified it into todays valid botanical systematics in 2008.
The climbers reach heights of 6 to 10 metres.
Dolichandra unguis-cati is evergreen. The dark-green, paripinnate leaves are opposite. The lanceolate leaflets are entire and petiolate.
Flowers and Fruits
Dolichandra unguis-cati produces solitary yellow campanulate flowers from April to May.
The climbers produce septicidal capsules.
Dolichandra unguis-cati is native to Mexico, Guatemala and Argentina.
The climbers prefer a sunny situation on fresh to moist soil. The substrate should be loamy or sandy-loamy soil. They tolerate temperatures only above at least 1Â°C (USDA zone 10). Under glass use loamy potting compost.
In summer the plants prefer protection from hot midday sun.
The climbers are suited for cultivation in a temperate house.
Maintenance and Propagation
- For healthy growth apply a compound fertilizer monthly during growth.
- Water freely in summer, give little water in winter.
Propagate by sowing when seeds are ripe or in spring at 20 Â°C. Also by semi-ripe cuttings in summer. Root in a heated propagation bed.
Pests and Diseases
Fine webs on the plants indicate an infestation with red spider mites. These sap-sucking insects mainly appear under glass and can be controlled either with insecticide or biologically with parasitic mites.
Honeydew and sooty mould indicate an infestation with whiteflies. The larvae look like those of mealy bugs, the adults suck sap on the undersides of the leaves. Apply insecticide, under glass control biologically.
- Walter Erhardt, Erich GÃ¶tz, Nils BÃ¶deker, Siegmund Seybold: Der groÃŸe Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
- Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.