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Useful Temperate Plants

Capparis spinosa rupestris

(Sm.) Nyman

Capparaceae

+ Synonyms

Capparis inermis Turra

Capparis orientalis Veill.

Capparis ovata Desf.

Capparis rupestris Sm.

Capparis sicula kruegeriana Pamp.

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Capparis spinosa rupestris is an unarmed to sparsely armed shrub with pendulous branches 3 - 4 metres long. Some forms are fully evergreen, though others shed their leaves and upper parts of their twigs in the winter[
1267
Title
A taxonomic revision of the Capparis spinosa group (Capparaceae) from the Mediterranean to Central Asia
Publication
Phytotaxa 174 (1): 001-024. 2014
Author
Silvio Fici
Website
http://www.mapress.com/phytotaxa/
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
1179-3155
Description
 
].
The plant is extensively harvested from the wild for food and sometimes (especially in N. Africa) used as a medicine, it is often cultivated for food, especially in Spain and Italy, and is also grown as an ornamental[
1267
Title
A taxonomic revision of the Capparis spinosa group (Capparaceae) from the Mediterranean to Central Asia
Publication
Phytotaxa 174 (1): 001-024. 2014
Author
Silvio Fici
Website
http://www.mapress.com/phytotaxa/
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
1179-3155
Description
 
]. Only the uses specifically ascribed to this subspecies are recorded here. Go to Capparis spinosa for the full list of uses for the species.

Known Hazards

Caper extracts and pulps have been used in cosmetics, but there have been cases reported of contact dermatitis and sensitivity from their use[
646
Title
New Crops FactSheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/default.html
Publisher
Purdue University
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website dedicated to giving information on potential new agricultural crops.
].

Botanical References

1267
Title
A taxonomic revision of the Capparis spinosa group (Capparaceae) from the Mediterranean to Central Asia
Publication
Phytotaxa 174 (1): 001-024. 2014
Author
Silvio Fici
Website
http://www.mapress.com/phytotaxa/
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
1179-3155
Description
 

Range

Mediterranean regions of Europe and Africa, east to Turkey (Anatolia).

Habitat

Widespread on limestone outcrops and cliffs along the coast, but also present on volcanic rocks and other substrata, penetrating inland up to elevations around 2,000 metres[
1267
Title
A taxonomic revision of the Capparis spinosa group (Capparaceae) from the Mediterranean to Central Asia
Publication
Phytotaxa 174 (1): 001-024. 2014
Author
Silvio Fici
Website
http://www.mapress.com/phytotaxa/
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
1179-3155
Description
 
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Shrub
Height2.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Capparis spinosa rupestris is native to the warm temperate and subtropical regions of the Mediterranean and Turkey. It generally grows in more or less arid climates and is able to withstand short-lived frosts with temperatures falling to around -8°c[
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.
]. Dormant plants can tolerate short-lived temperatures falling to between -5 and -10°c[
187
Title
Perennials. Volumes 1 and 2.
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1991
ISBN
0-330-30936-9
Description
Photographs of over 3,000 species and cultivars of ornamental plants together with brief cultivation notes, details of habitat etc.
,
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.
]. The plant prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 500 - 1,000mm, but tolerates 300 - 2,600mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Requires a hot, well-drained dry position in full sun[
187
Title
Perennials. Volumes 1 and 2.
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1991
ISBN
0-330-30936-9
Description
Photographs of over 3,000 species and cultivars of ornamental plants together with brief cultivation notes, details of habitat etc.
,
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.
,
260
Title
Conservatory and Indoor Plants Volumes 1 & 2
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books, London.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-330-37376-5
Description
Excellent photos of over 1,100 species and cultivars with habits and cultivation details plus a few plant uses. Many species are too tender for outdoors in Britain though there are many that can be grown outside.
]. Plants can tolerate some frost so long as the ground is very well-drained. Dislikes heavy soils[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Established plants are very tolerant of drought[
260
Title
Conservatory and Indoor Plants Volumes 1 & 2
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books, London.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-330-37376-5
Description
Excellent photos of over 1,100 species and cultivars with habits and cultivation details plus a few plant uses. Many species are too tender for outdoors in Britain though there are many that can be grown outside.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 - 7.5, tolerating 6 - 8.3[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
This subspecies is cultivated to produce capers in Spain and Italy, especially on the islands of Mallorca, Pantelleria and Salina[
1267
Title
A taxonomic revision of the Capparis spinosa group (Capparaceae) from the Mediterranean to Central Asia
Publication
Phytotaxa 174 (1): 001-024. 2014
Author
Silvio Fici
Website
http://www.mapress.com/phytotaxa/
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
1179-3155
Description
 
].
In southern Europe var. rupestris is also used as an ornamental plant in rock gardens, where it is appreciated for its pendulous habit, glossy leaves and showy flowers[
1267
Title
A taxonomic revision of the Capparis spinosa group (Capparaceae) from the Mediterranean to Central Asia
Publication
Phytotaxa 174 (1): 001-024. 2014
Author
Silvio Fici
Website
http://www.mapress.com/phytotaxa/
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
1179-3155
Description
 
].
The woody habit, coriaceous leaves and prolonged vegetative and reproductive periods during the year of this subspecies support its marked relationship with the more tropical forms of the species[
1267
Title
A taxonomic revision of the Capparis spinosa group (Capparaceae) from the Mediterranean to Central Asia
Publication
Phytotaxa 174 (1): 001-024. 2014
Author
Silvio Fici
Website
http://www.mapress.com/phytotaxa/
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
1179-3155
Description
 
].
This subspecies is very variable and several varieties have been described[
1267
Title
A taxonomic revision of the Capparis spinosa group (Capparaceae) from the Mediterranean to Central Asia
Publication
Phytotaxa 174 (1): 001-024. 2014
Author
Silvio Fici
Website
http://www.mapress.com/phytotaxa/
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
1179-3155
Description
 
]. We do not have separate entries for each of these subspecies, but a brief description is given below. If considering growing this plant then it would be advisable to select the variety according to the area where you wish to grow it:-
Var rupestris. Found in Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Slovenia, Croatia, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, growing at elevations up to 950 metres. It grows on limestone, lava, gypsum, and marl. This is the form that is usually cultivated and has the largest fruits[
1267
Title
A taxonomic revision of the Capparis spinosa group (Capparaceae) from the Mediterranean to Central Asia
Publication
Phytotaxa 174 (1): 001-024. 2014
Author
Silvio Fici
Website
http://www.mapress.com/phytotaxa/
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
1179-3155
Description
 
].
Var ovata. Found in Italy, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Lybia. It grows on limestone and siliceous substrata at elevations up to 1,900 metres.
Var myrtifolia. Restricted to Algeria, Chad and Libya, where it grows at elevations from 760 - 2,000 metres on sandstone and volcanic substrata, This form can be found further inland and at higher elevations than the other varieties.

Edible Uses

The flower buds and young fruits collected from wild plants are pickled in salt or vinegar and used as a condiment[
1267
Title
A taxonomic revision of the Capparis spinosa group (Capparaceae) from the Mediterranean to Central Asia
Publication
Phytotaxa 174 (1): 001-024. 2014
Author
Silvio Fici
Website
http://www.mapress.com/phytotaxa/
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
1179-3155
Description
 
].
The ellipsoid, pyriform or obovoid fruit is 20 - 50mm long, mostly acute or apiculate at apex, usually splitting along one rib and with yellow-greenish pulp[
1267
Title
A taxonomic revision of the Capparis spinosa group (Capparaceae) from the Mediterranean to Central Asia
Publication
Phytotaxa 174 (1): 001-024. 2014
Author
Silvio Fici
Website
http://www.mapress.com/phytotaxa/
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
1179-3155
Description
 
].

The above is information we have found specifically applying to this subspecies. Go to the record for Capparis spinosa to obtain further information on the full range of uses for this subspecies.

Medicinal

The plant is traditionally used in N. Africa to treat conditions such as stomachache, stomach diseases, headache, blenorhagy and as an antiinflammatory[
1267
Title
A taxonomic revision of the Capparis spinosa group (Capparaceae) from the Mediterranean to Central Asia
Publication
Phytotaxa 174 (1): 001-024. 2014
Author
Silvio Fici
Website
http://www.mapress.com/phytotaxa/
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
1179-3155
Description
 
].

The above is information we have found specifically applying to this subspecies. Go to the record for Capparis spinosa to obtain further information on the full range of uses for this subspecies.

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant has deep and wide-ranging roots and is tolerant of very high temperatures. It is an important species in soil stabilization projects in semi-arid regions of Turkey[
1266
Title
Capparis spinosa L. in A Systematic Review: A Xerophilous Species of Multi Values and Promising Potentialities for A
Publication
Front. Plant Sci. 8;1845. 2017
Author
Chedraoui S, Abi-Rizk A, El-Beyrouthy M, Chalak L, Ouaini N
Publisher
 
Year
2017
ISBN
 
Description
An in-depth study of Capparis spinosa with a wealth of references to the latest research.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Caper seeds are miniscule and seedlings are very slow growing. The fresh seed germinates quickly, although germination rates are usually quite low[
646
Title
New Crops FactSheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/default.html
Publisher
Purdue University
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website dedicated to giving information on potential new agricultural crops.
]. Dried seed becomes dormant and notably difficult to germinate - pre-soak for 24 hours in warm water at around 40°c which is then allowed to cool. Then wrap them in a moist cloth, place them in a sealed glass jar and kept in the refrigerator for 2 - 3 months. After refrigeration, soak the seeds again in warm water overnight. Sow the seeds about 1cm deep in a loose well drained soil medium in a sunny position in a greenhouse[
646
Title
New Crops FactSheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/default.html
Publisher
Purdue University
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website dedicated to giving information on potential new agricultural crops.
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots of well-drained soil when they are large enough to handle. Grow on the young plants for at least their first winter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring or early summer.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid-summer in a sandy medium in a cold frame[
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.
]. Use stems from the basal portions, greater than 1cm diameter and 8cm long with 6 - 10 buds. Use a loose, well drained media with bottom heat. A 70% rooting percentage would be considered good[
646
Title
New Crops FactSheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/default.html
Publisher
Purdue University
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website dedicated to giving information on potential new agricultural crops.
]
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2023-01-30. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Capparis+spinosa+rupestris>

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