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Pakistan | Family List | Capparidaceae | Capparis

Capparis spinosa Linn., Sp. Pl. 503. 1753. Hook. f., Fl Brit. Ind. 1: 173. 1872-incl. all the varieties except galeata; Burtt and Lewis in Kew Bull. 299. 1949; Jafri, l.c.; Hedge and Lamond, l.c., incl. varieties.

Vern. Kabar, Khawarg, Panetero

  • Capparis murrayana Grah.
  • Capparis nepaulensis DC.

    Diffuse shrub, prostrate or hanging, glabrous or pubescent. Leaves very variable in size and shape with a length/breadth ratio of 1-1.7, usually about one and a half times as long as broad, ovate, obovate, orbicular to elliptic, 1-4 cm long, 1-3.5 cm broad, entire, acute, obtuse, retuse or slightly acuminate; apex mostly spine-tipped; petiole up to 4 mm long; stipules of 2 hooked rarely straight, brown or yellow coloured spines. Flowers axillary and solitary, 2-5 cm across, sub-irregular, handsome, whitish; pedicels 2-6 (-9) cm long, becoming thickened in fruit. Sepals subequal, posterior sepal not galeate, 1-2 cm long, broadest at the base and only 3-4.5 mm deep near the apex. Petals 1.5-3 cm long, 0.6-2 cm broad, obovate-cuneate, exceeding the sepals. Stamens indefinite, exceed¬ing the petals, spreading; anthers 1-2.5 mm long. Fruit 1.5-4.5 cm long, 1-1.8 cm broad, ellipsoid or oblong—obovate, often slightly ribbed, red when ripe, often splitting into 4 parts from the apex when dried and pressed; gynophore 3-7 cm long; seeds many, 2-3 mm in diam., brown.

    Type: Not precisely designated. Burtt & Lewis denoted the specimen of C. aculeata in the Hort. Cliff. Herb. (BM) as the type of C. spinosa L.

    Distribution: S. Europe eastward to Australia.

    Camel and goats graze on it and the fruits and buds sometimes pickled.

    A very variable species and the status of various varieties described under it, from time to time, is very doubtful. However, in Sind, where the plants were observed in field, two forms, one prostrate or sprawling with larger leaves and the other with erect habit and smaller elliptical leaves, were present. How far these habits are constant is still to be worked out.


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