Botanical and Common Names

  • Family Capparidaceae (or Capparaceae)
  • Species: Capparis spinosa L. (syn. Capparis rupestris)
  • also Capparis ovata Desf.
  • Caper bush, Flinders rose, caperberry


The caper bush (Capparis spinosa L., Capparidaceae) is a winter-deciduous species widespread in Mediterranean Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Its young flower buds, known as capers, are greatly favored for food seasoning and different parts of the plant are used in the manufacture of medicines and cosmetics. This drought-tolerant perennial plant has a favorable influence on the environment and it is utilized for landscaping and reducing erosion along highways, steep rocky slopes, sand dunes or fragile semiarid ecosystems. The caper plant has low flammability and may play a role in cutting down forest fires. The caper bush is a perennial shrub 30 to 50 cm tall. Its roots can be 6 to 10 meters long. The fruit (caperberry) is ellipsoid, ovoid or obovoid, with a thin pericarp. The fruit bursts when ripe, exposing many seeds embedded in a pale crimson flesh. Seeds are 3 to 4 millimeters across, grey-brown and reniform. This chapter discusses the chemical composition, cultivation and production, uses in food processing, functional and health benefits, and quality issues of capers and caperberries.


Source: Science Direct

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