Taxon: Capparis spinosa L.

Genus: Capparis
Family: Capparaceae
Nomen number: 8897
Place of publication: Sp. pl. 1:503. 1753
Name Verified on: 12-Mar-2008 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last Changed: 12-Mar-2008
Species priority site is:
Accessions: 14 in National Plant Germplasm System (GoogleMap)

Common names:

Economic Importance:

  • Food additives: flavoring (fide F Eur ed2; F Iraq; F USSR)
  • Environmental: boundary/barrier/support (fide Dict Gard)
  • Environmental: ornamental (fide Dict Gard)
  • Human food: vegetable (flower bud primary source of common caper fide Herbs Commerce ed2)
  • Medicines: folklore (fide CRC MedHerbs ed2; Herbs Commerce ed2)

Distributional Range:


  • Africa

    • Northern Africa: Algeria; Egypt; Libya; Morocco; Tunisia
  • Asia-Temperate

    • Arabian Peninsula: Bahrain; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; United Arab Emirates; Yemen
    • Caucasus: Armenia; Azerbaijan; Georgia; Russian Federation - Dagestan; Russian Federation-Ciscaucasia - Ciscaucasia
    • China: China - Xinjiang, - Xizang
    • Middle Asia: Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan
    • Western Asia: Afghanistan; Cyprus; Egypt - Sinai; Iran; Iraq; Israel; Jordan; Lebanon; Syria; Turkey
  • Asia-Tropical

    • Indian Subcontinent: India; Nepal; Pakistan
    • Malesia: Indonesia, - Lesser Sunda Islands; Philippines
  • Australasia

    • Australia: Australia - Northern Territory, - Queensland, - Western Australia
  • Europe

    • East Europe: Ukraine - Krym
    • Southeastern Europe: Albania; Croatia; Greece; Italy
    • Southwestern Europe: France; Portugal; Spain
  • Pacific

    • Northwestern Pacific: Guam
    • Southwestern Pacific: Solomon Islands; Vanuatu

  • Naturalized:

    . possibly natzd. in some regions


    . widely cult.


  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman & M. Hjertson Våra kulturväxters namn - ursprung och användning. Formas, Stockholm (Handbook on Swedish cultivated and utility plants, their names and origin). 2009 (Vara kulturvaxt namn)
  • Ali, S. I. & S. M. H. Jafri, eds. Flora of Libya. 1976- (F Libya)
  • Andrews, F. W. The flowering plants of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. 1950-1956 (F Sudan)
  • Castroviejo, S. et al., eds. Flora iberica: plantas vasculares de la Peninsula Iberica e Islas Baleares. 1989- (F Iberica)
  • Davis, P. H., ed. Flora of Turkey and the east Aegean islands. 1965-1988 (F Turk)
  • Duke, J. A. et al. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs. 2002 (CRC MedHerbs ed2)
  • Encke, F. et al. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 14. Auflage. 1993 (Zander ed14)
  • Eriksson, O. et al. Flora of Macaronesia: checklist of vascular plants, ed. 2. 1979 (L Macar ed2)
  • Euro+Med Editorial Committee Euro+Med Plantbase: the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity (on-line resource). (EuroMed Plantbase)
  • Fici, S. 2001. Intraspecific variation and evolutionary trends in Capparis spinosa L. (Capparaceae) Pl. Syst. Evol. 228:123-141.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). (Ecocrop)
  • George, A. S., ed. Flora of Australia. 1980- (F Aust)
  • Greuter, W. et al., eds. Med-Checklist. 1984- (L Medit)
  • Higton, R. N. & J. R. Akeroyd 1991. Variation in Capparis spinosa L. in Europe Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 106:104-112.
  • Huxley, A., ed. The new Royal Horticultural Society dictionary of gardening. 1992 (Dict Gard)
  • Inocencio, C. et al. 2006. A systematic revision of Capparis section Capparis (Capparaceae) Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 93:145.
  • Integrated Botanical Information System (IBIS) Australian plant common name database (on-line resource). (Aust Pl Common Names)
  • Jacobs, M. 1965. The genus Capparis (Capparaceae) from the Indus to the Pacific (Blumea) 12:416-418.
  • Jalas, J. & J. Suominen Atlas florae europaeae. 1972- (Atlas Eur)
  • Komarov, V. L. et al., eds. Flora SSSR. 1934-1964 (F USSR)
  • Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium Hortus third. 1976 (Hortus 3)
  • Magness, J. R. et al. Food and feed crops of the United States. IR Bull. 1. 1971 (Crops US)
  • Markle, G. M. et al., eds. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2. 1998 (Food Feed Crops US)
  • McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker Herbs of commerce, ed. 2. 2000 (Herbs Commerce ed2)
  • Migahid, A. M. Flora of Saudi Arabia, ed. 2. 1978 (F Saudi)
  • Miller, A. G. & T. A. Cope Flora of the Arabian Peninsula and Socotra. 1996- (F Arabia)
  • Mouterde, P. Nouvelle flore du Liban et de la Syrie. 1966- (F Liban)
  • Nasir, E. & S. I. Ali, eds. Flora of [West] Pakistan. 1970- (F Pak)
  • Norton, J. et al. Illustrated checklist of the flora of Qatar. 2009 (Ill L Qatar)
  • Ozenda, P. Flore du Sahara, ed. 2. 1977 (F Sahara)
  • Parrotta, J. A. Healing plants of peninsular India. 2001 (Healing Pl India)
  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource). (Pl Names)
  • Quézel, P. & S. Santa Nouvelle flore de l'Algerie. 1962-1963 (F Alger)
  • Rechinger, K. H., ed. Flora iranica. 1963- (F Iran)
  • Rehm, S. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants. 1994 (Dict Rehm)
  • Steenis, C. G. G. J. van, ed. Flora malesiana. 1948- (F Males)
  • Täckholm, V. Students' flora of Egypt, ed. 2. 1974 (SF Egypt)
  • Townsend, C. C. & E. Guest Flora of Iraq. 1966- (F Iraq)
  • Tutin, T. G. et al., eds. Flora europaea, second edition. 1993 (F Eur ed2)
  • Wiersema, J. H. & B. León World economic plants: a standard reference (on-line edition) [medicinal plants only]. (World Econ Pl Med)
  • Wu Zheng-yi & P. H. Raven et al., eds. Flora of China (English edition). 1994- (F ChinaEng)
  • Zohary, M. & N. Feinbrun-Dothan Flora palaestina. 1966- (F Palest)
  • Zohary, M. et al. Conspectus florae orientalis. 1980- (L Orient)

Check other web resources for Capparis spinosa L. :

  • Flora Europaea: Database of European Plants (ESFEDS)
  • Flora of China: Online version from Harvard University
  • AVH: Australia's Virtual Herbarium
  • ABRS: Australian Biological Resources Study Flora of Australia online
  • TROPICOS: Nomenclatural and Specimen Database of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Databas of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.