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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids II
Ordo: Brassicales

Familia: Capparaceae
Genus: Capparis
Species: C. acutifolia – C. annamensis – C. arborea – C. artensis – C. assamica – C. bachii – C. batianoffii – C. beneolens – C. bodinieri – C. brachybotrya – C. brassii – C. brevispina – C. burmanica – C. buwaldae – C. callophylla – C. canescens – C. cantoniensis – C. cataphyllosa – C. chingiana – C. chrysomela – C. cinerea – C. cleghornii – C. cucurbitina – C. daknongensis – C. dasyphylla – C. decidua – C. diffusa – C. divaricata – C. diversifolia – C. dongvanensis – C. echinocarpa – C. erycibe – C. erythrocarpos – C. fascicularis – C. fengii – C. flavicans – C. floribunda – C. fohaiensis – C. formosana – C. fusifera – C. gialaiensis – C. grandidieri – C. grandiflora – C. grandis – C. hainanensis – C. henryi – C. hereroensis – C. humistrata – C. jacobsii – C. kerrii – C. khuamak – C. klossii – C. kollimalavana – C. lanceolaris – C. lanceolatifolia – C. laotica – C. lasiantha – C. lobbiana – C. longestipitata – C. longgangensis – C. longipes – C. loranthifolia – C. lucens – C. lucida – C. masakai – C. mekongensis – C. membranifolia – C. micracantha – C. micrantha – C. mitchellii – C. monantha – C. moonii – C. multiflora – C. nilgiriensis – C. nobilis – C. nummularia – C. olacifolia – C. ornans – C. pachyphylla – C. parvifolia – C. pranensis – C. pseudocerasifera – C. pubiflora – C. pubifolia – C. pyracantha – C. pyrifolia – C. quiniflora – C. radula – C. ramonensis – C. rheedei – C. richardii – C. rigida – C. rosanowiana – C. rotundifolia – C. roxburghii – C. rufidula – C. sabiifolia – C. sandwichiana – C. sarmentosa – C. scortechinii – C. sepiaria – C. shanesiana – C. shevaroyensis – C. siamensis – C. sikkimensis – C. spinosa – C. srilankensis – C. subsessilis – C. subtomentosa – C. sunbisiniana – C. tagbanuorum – C. tchaourembensis – C. tenera – C. thorelii – C. thozetiana – C. tomentosa – C. tonkinensis – C. trichocarpa – C. trinervia – C. trisonthiae – C. umbonata – C. urophylla – C. velutina – C. versicolor – C. viburnifolia – C. viminea – C. wui – C. xanthophylla – C. yunnanensis – C. zeylanica – C. zippeliana

Source(s) of checklist:

Hassler, M. 2019. Capparis. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2019. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 Aug. 12. Reference page.


Capparis L., Sp. Pl. 1: 503. (1753)

Type species: Capparis spinosa L., vide Britton & Millspaugh (1920)


Hombak Adans., Fam. Pl. (Adanson) 2: 408 (1763)
Sodada Forssk., Fl. Aegypt.-Arab. 81 (1775) (1775).
Anisosticte Bartl., Ord. 294. (1830)
Busbeckea Endl., Prodr. Fl. Norfolk. [Endlicher] 64 (1833) (1833)
Marsesina Raf., Sylva Tellur. 112. (1838)
Oligloron Raf., Sylva Tellur. 109. (1838)
Olofuton Raf., Sylva Tellur. 108. (1838)
Petersia Klotzsch, Naturw. Reise Mossambique [Peters] 6(Bot., 1): 168, t. 30 (1861) non Petersia Welw. ex Benth. & Hook.f., Gen. Pl. [Bentham & Hooker f.] 1(2): 721. (1865) vide Petersianthus Merr., Philipp. J. Sci., C 11: 200 (1916) (Lecythidaceae)
Pseudocroton Müll. Arg., Flora 55: 24. (1872)

Note: This is a view of Capparis s.s. sensu Cornejo (2018) & Hassler (2019) c.f. Govaerts et al. (2019) for a circumscription of Capparis s.l.

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus I: 503. Reference page.
Britton, N.L. & Millspaugh, C.F., 1920. Bahama Fl. 150.
Cornejo, X. 2018. Notes on the nomenclature of neotropical Capparaceae: An answer to Global Flora. Harvard Papers in Botany 23(2): 179-185. DOI: 10.3100/hpib.v23iss2.2018.n3 PDF Reference page.


Hassler, M. 2019. Capparis. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2019. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 Aug. 12. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Capparis in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 Aug. 12. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Capparis. Published online. Accessed: Aug. 12 2019. 2019. Capparis. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 Aug. 12.

Vernacular names
Deutsch: Kapernsträucher
Ελληνικά: Καππαρίδες
English: Caper Shrubs, Caperbushes
suomi: Kaprikset
polski: Kapary
sardu: Càpparu

Capparis is a flowering plant genus in the family Capparaceae which is included in the Brassicaceae in the unrevised APG II system. These plants are shrubs or lianas and are collectively known as caper shrubs or caperbushes. Capparis species occur over a wide range of habitat in the subtropical and tropical zones.

Uses and ecology
The well-known caper is a pickled flower bud of Capparis spinosa.

Caperbushes are mainly used by humans for their fruit, which are rich in micronutrients. C. spinosa, simply known as caper, yields fruit and more importantly flower buds, which are widely used pickled as a vegetable condiment. The fruit of other species, such as karir (C. decidua), are also used for cooking; C. mitchellii and the Wild passionfruit (the local subspecies of C. spinosa) are well-known bush tucker in Australia. Mabinlang seeds (C. masaikai) are eaten as sweets.

Mabinlang is also used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Aspalathos, the root of a shrub contained for example in the sacred Ancient Egyptian incense kp.t (kyphi), is sometimes considered to be C. spinosa. Other species have also recorded uses in herbalism and folk medicine; dedicated research is largely lacking however. Mabinlins are sweet-tasting proteins found in Mabinlang seed (and possibly in other Capparis species); at least one of them is highly resistant to heat. The market for mabinlins is not large, but this is mainly due to insufficient supply rather than to lack of demand.

The 1889 book 'The Useful Native Plants of Australia records that Capparis canescens was also referred to as "Mondoleu" by the indigenous people from Rockhampton area of Queensland and that "The fruit is pyriform and half an inch in diameter. It is eaten by the aborigines without any preparation." (Thozet.) Mr. P. O'Shanesy observes that the pulpy part in which these Australian species of Capparis are imbedded is a good substitute for mustard."[2]

Caperbushes from arid regions - chiefly C. decidua - are highly useful in landscape gardening, afforestation and reforestation. They can stop soil erosion and preserve agricultural land. Any large-flowered species can be used to attract butterflies. The Crimson Rose (Atrophaneura hector), a spectacular swallowtail butterfly of South Asia, likes to visit flowers of C. spinosa in the winter months for example.
Many birds eat ripe Capparis spinosa fruit and seeds.

The fruit and seeds of caperbushes are relished by many birds and other animals such as spiny-tailed lizards. Capparis plants are highly important as food for certain Lepidoptera caterpillars, many of them being Pierinae:

Appias lyncida (chocolate albatross) - recorded on C. heyneana and C. roxburghii.
Astraptes fulgerator (two-barred flasher) - recorded on C. frondosa.[3]
Belenois aurota (caper white or pioneer) - recorded on C. zeylanica.
Cepora nerissa (common gull) - mainly on C. zeylanica.
Hebomoia glaucippe (great orangetip) - recorded on C. monii, C. roxburghii and C. sepiaria.
Ixias marianne (white orangetip) - recorded on C. grandis, C. sepiaria, C. decidua, and C. divaricata.[4][5]
Leptosia nina (psyche) - recorded on C. zeylanica and others.
Pareronia ceylanica (dark wanderer) - recorded on C. heydeana,[6] C. rheedii[4]
Pareronia valeria (common wanderer) - recorded on C. zeylanica, C. rheedii,[4] C. heydeana[6]

The plant pathogenic ascomycete fungus Mycosphaerella capparis was described from a caperbush. Some species of Capparis are becoming rare, mainly due to habitat destruction, and a few are seriously threatened with extinction.
Drawing of Capparis micracantha, showing its parts. Francisco Manuel Blanco, Flora de Filipinas, etc (1880-1883)
Drawing of Capparis "sepiaria", showing its parts. Francisco Manuel Blanco, Flora de Filipinas, etc. (1880-1883)

Plants of the World Online currently includes:[7]

Capparis acutifolia Sweet
Capparis annamensis (Baker f.) M.Jacobs
Capparis anomala (F.Muell.) Christenh. & Byng
Capparis arborea (F.Muell.) Maiden – Brush caper
Capparis artensis Montrouz.
Capparis assamica Hook.f. & Thomson
Capparis bachii Sy, R.K.Choudhary & Joongku Lee
Capparis batianoffii Guymer
Capparis beneolens Gagnep.
Capparis bodinieri H.Lév.
Capparis brachybotrya Hallier f.
Capparis brassii DC.
Capparis brevispina DC.
Capparis burmanica Collett & Hemsl.
Capparis buwaldae M.Jacobs
Capparis callophylla Blume
Capparis canescens Banks ex DC.
Capparis cantoniensis Lour.
Capparis cartilaginea Decne.
Capparis cataphyllosa M.Jacobs
Capparis chingiana B.S.Sun
Capparis chrysomeia Bojer
Capparis cinerea M.Jacobs
Capparis cleghornii Dunn
Capparis corymbosa Lam.
Capparis cucurbitina King
Capparis daknongensis Sy, G.C.Tucker, Cornejo & Joongku Lee
Capparis dasyphylla Merr. & F.P.Metcalf
Capparis decidua (Forssk.) Edgew. (= C. aphylla) – karir (kirir, k(h)air, karril, etc.)
Capparis diffusa Ridl.
Capparis dioica Gilg
Capparis divaricata Lam.
Capparis diversifolia Wight & Arn.
Capparis dongvanensis Sy, B.H.Quang & D.V.Hai
Capparis echinocarpa Pierre ex Gagnep.
Capparis erycibe Hallier f.
Capparis erythrocarpos Isert
Capparis fascicularis DC.
Capparis fengii B.S.Sun
Capparis flavicans Kurz
Capparis floribunda Wight
Capparis florida Fici & Souvann.
Capparis fohaiensis B.S.Sun
Capparis formosana Hemsl.
Capparis fusifera Dunn
Capparis gialaiensis Sy
Capparis grandidieri Baill.
Capparis grandiflora Wall. ex Hook.f. & Thomson
Capparis grandis L.f.
Capparis hainanensis Oliv.
Capparis henryi Matsum.
Capparis hereroensis Schinz
Capparis heteracantha DC.
Capparis hinnamnoensis Souvann. & Fici
Capparis humistrata (F.Muell.) F.Muell.
Capparis hypovellerea Gilg & Gilg-Ben.
Capparis jacobsii Hewson
Capparis kbangensis Sy & D.V.Hai
Capparis kebarensis Fici
Capparis khuamak Gagnep.
Capparis klossii Ridl.
Capparis koioides M.Jacobs
Capparis kollimalayana M.B.Viswan.
Capparis lanceolaris DC.
Capparis lanceolatifolia Fici, Bouaman. & Souvann.
Capparis laotica Gagnep.
Capparis lasiantha R.Br. ex DC.
Capparis lobbiana Turcz.
Capparis longestipitata Heine
Capparis longgangensis S.L.Mo & X.S.Lee ex Y.S.Huang
Capparis loranthifolia Lindl.
Capparis lucida (Banks ex DC.) Benth.
Capparis macleishii (A.G.Mill.) Christenh. & Byng
Capparis macrantha Souvann., Fici & Lanors.
Capparis masaikai H.Lév.
Capparis mekongensis Gagnep.
Capparis membranifolia Kurz
Capparis micracantha DC.
Capparis micrantha A.Rich.
Capparis mitchellii (Lindl. ex F.Muell.) Lindl. – wild orange (Australia), merne atwakeye (Arrernte)
Capparis monantha M.Jacobs
Capparis moonii Wight
Capparis multiflora Hook.f. & Thomson
Capparis nana Craib
Capparis nilgiriensis Subba Rao, Kumari & V.Chandras.
Capparis nobilis (Endl.) F.Muell. ex Benth. - devil's guts (Norfolk Island)
Capparis nummularia DC.
Capparis olacifolia Hook.f. & Thomson
Capparis ornans F.Muell. ex Benth.
Capparis pachyphylla M.Jacobs
Capparis parvifolia Fici
Capparis poggei Pax
Capparis pranensis (Pierre ex Gagnep.) M.Jacobs
Capparis pseudocerasifera Hauman
Capparis pubiflora DC.
Capparis pubifolia B.S.Sun
Capparis pyrifolia Lam.
Capparis quiniflora DC.
Capparis radula Gagnep.
Capparis ramonensis Danin
Capparis rheedei DC.
Capparis richardii Baill.
Capparis rigida M.Jacobs
Capparis rotundifolia Rottler
Capparis roxburghii DC.
Capparis rufidula M.Jacobs
Capparis sabiifolia Hook.f. & Thomson
Capparis sandwichiana DC. – Hawaiian caper,[8] Maiapilo, Pua pilo (Hawaiʻi endemic)[9]
Capparis sarmentosa A.Cunn. ex Benth.
Capparis scortechinii King
Capparis sepiaria L.; a cryptic species complex
Capparis shanesiana F.Muell.
Capparis shevaroyensis Sundararagh.
Capparis siamensis Kurz
Capparis sikkimensis Kurz
Capparis spinosa L. – Caper
(note: C. zoharyi Inocencio, D.Rivera, Obón & Alcaraz is a synonym of C. spinosa var. aegyptia (Lam.) Boiss.)
Capparis srilankensis Sundararagh.
Capparis subsessilis B.S.Sun
Capparis sunbisiniana M.L.Zhang & G.C.Tucker
Capparis tagbanuorum Fici
Capparis tchaourembensis Fici
Capparis tenera Dalzell
Capparis thorelii Gagnep.
Capparis thozetiana (F.Muell.) F.Muell.
Capparis tomentosa Lam.
Capparis tonkinensis Gagnep.
Capparis trichocarpa B.S.Sun
Capparis trinervia Hook.f. & Thomson
Capparis trisonthiae Srisanga & Chayam.
Capparis umbonata Lindl. - northern wild orange
Capparis urophylla F.Chun
Capparis velutina P.I.Forst.
Capparis versicolor Griff.
Capparis viburnifolia Gagnep.
Capparis viminea Oliv.
Capparis wui B.S.Sun
Capparis yunnanensis Craib & W.W.Sm.
Capparis zeylanica L. (= C. linearis Blanco) – kapchip (Wayuunaiki)[10][11]
Capparis zippeliana Miq.

Formerly placed here

Adansonia gregorii F.Muell. (as C. gibbosa A.Cunn.)
Anisocapparis speciosa (Griseb.) Cornejo & H.H.Iltis (as C. speciosa Griseb.)
Boscia albitrunca (Burch.) Gilg & Benedict (as C. albitrunca Burch.)
Boscia oleoides (as Capparis oleoides)
Calanthea pulcherrima (Jacq.) Miers (as C. pulcherrima Jacq.)
Colicodendron scabridum (Kunth) Seem. (as C. scabrida Kunth)

Crateva magna (Lour.) DC. (as C. magna Lour.)
Cynophalla flexuosa (L.) J.Presl – Limber caper
Cynophalla hastata (Jacq.) J.Presl – Broadleaf caper
Cynophalla heterophylla (Ruiz & Pav. ex DC.) Iltis & Cornejo
Cynophalla retusa (Griseb.) Cornejo & H. H. Iltis (as C. retusa Griseb.)
Ritchiea reflexa (Thonn.) Gilg & Benedict (as C. reflexa Thonn.)
Sarcotoxicum salicifolium (Griseb.) Cornejo & H.H.Iltis (as C. salicifolia Griseb.)[11]

See also

Caparica (Almada)


"Genus: Capparis L." Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2006-03-31. Archived from the original on 2009-05-07. Retrieved 2010-11-22.
J. H. Maiden (1889). The useful native plants of Australia : Including Tasmania. Turner and Henderson, Sydney.
Hébert et al. (2004), Brower et al. (2006)
Kunte, Krushnamegh (2000). India, a Lifescape: Butterflies of Peninsular India. Universities Press. p. 223. ISBN 9788173713545.
Choudhary, Vijay (July 2018). "Description of White orange tip butterfly – Ixias marianne". Nature Conservation. Archived from the original on 2018-07-25.
"HOSTS - a Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants". Natural History Museum.
Plants of the World Online: Capparis (retrieved 5 October 2021)
"Capparis sandwichiana". Plant Collections. United States Botanic Garden. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
"Capparis sandwichiana". Hawaiian Native Plant Propagation Database. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
"Capparis". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2010-11-22.

"GRIN Species Records of Capparis". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Archived from the original on 2009-01-20. Retrieved 2010-11-22.


Brower, Andrew V.Z. (2006): Problems with DNA barcodes for species delimitation: ‘ten species’ of Astraptes fulgerator reassessed (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae). Systematics and Biodiversity 4(2): 127–132. doi:10.1017/S147720000500191X PDF fulltext
Hébert, Paul D.N.; Penton, Erin H.; Burns, John M.; Janzen, Daniel H. & Hallwachs, Winnie (2004): Ten species in one: DNA barcoding reveals cryptic species in the semitropical skipper butterfly Astraptes fulgerator. PNAS 101(41): 14812-14817. doi:10.1073/pnas.0406166101 PDF fulltext Supporting Appendices

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