Additional notes (click to expand)

Other use

The pickled fruits are used as relish with foods. The King James bible, Eccleisaste 12:5 reads: 'Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and DESIRE shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets'. However the New American Standared Bible has the word 'caperberry' instead of 'desire' as: 'Furthermore, men are afraid of a high place and of terrors on the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags himself along, and the CAPERBERRY is ineffective. For man goes to his eternal home while mourners go about in the street'. It appears that the Hebrew word may be translated either way.
Montague-Drake, Blair. (1977). A Biblical Herbal. Earth Images, Australia. p.42


In Africa, Capparis tomentosa, seems widely used but equally widely regarded as toxic to people and animals. See reference for more details.
Neuwinger, HD. (1996). African Ethnobotany: Poisons & Drugs, Chapman & Hall p.336-339

Geographical distribution

  • Africa, Northern Africa, Algeria
  • Africa, Northern Africa, Egypt
  • Africa, Northern Africa, Egypt
  • Africa, Northern Africa, Libya
  • Africa, Northern Africa, Morocco
  • Africa, Northern Africa, Tunisia
  • Asia-Temperate, Arabian Peninsula, Gulf States
  • Asia-Temperate, Caucasus
  • Asia-Temperate, Middle Asia, Kazakhstan
  • Asia-Temperate, Middle Asia, Kyrgyzstan
  • Asia-Temperate, Middle Asia, Tadzhikistan
  • Asia-Temperate, Middle Asia, Turkmenistan
  • Asia-Temperate, Middle Asia, Uzbekistan
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Afghanistan
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Cyprus
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Iran
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Iraq
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Lebanon-Syria
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Palestine
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Turkey
  • Asia-Tropical, Indian Subcontinent, Pakistan
  • Asia-Tropical, Malesia, Philippines
  • Australasia, Australia, Northern Territory
  • Australasia, Australia, Queensland
  • Australasia, Australia, Western Australia
  • Europe, Eastern Europe, Ukraine
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Albania
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Greece
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Italy
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Yugoslavia
  • Europe, Southwestern Europe, France
  • Europe, Southwestern Europe, Spain
  • Pacific, Northwestern Pacific

Capparis spinosa L.

Genus: Capparis
Species: spinosa L.
Common names: Common Caper
Pharmacopoeia Londinensis name: Capparis
Distribution summary: N.Africa, Eurasia, Australia, Pacific
Habit: Shrub
Hardiness: H3 - Half hardy; unheated greenhouse/mild winter
Habitat: Sunny, dry, rocky hills
Garden status: Currently grown
Garden location: Europe & Mediterranean (E)
Flowering months: March, April, May
Reason for growing: Medicinal

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