Herbs & Plants

Capparis spinosa

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Botanical Name : Capparis spinosa
Family: Capparaceae
Genus: Capparis
Species: C. spinosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Common Name : Caper ,Common Caper, Caper Bush, Flinders rose

Habitat :Capparis spinosa is found in the wild in Mediterranean, East Africa, Madagascar, south-western and Central Asia, Himalayas, the Pacific Islands, Indomalaya, Australia. It grows on rocks, affecting the hottest localities, to 3600 metres in the Himalayas. Old walls, cliffs and rocky hillsides in the Mediterranean.
Capparis spinosa is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 2 m (6ft) at a fast rate. The shrubby plant is many-branched, with alternate leaves, thick and shiny, round to ovate. It is in leaf 12-Jan. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) The flowers are complete, sweetly fragrant, and showy, with four sepals and four white to pinkish-white petals, and many long violet-colored stamens, and a single stigma usually rising well above the stamens. The bloom Color is red & white….CLICK  &  SEE  THE  PICTURES

Requires a hot, well-drained dry position in full sun. Plants are tolerant of drought. Tolerates a pH in the range 6.3 to 8.3. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. A perennial species, this plant produces annual stems from a woody base. The flowers open in the early morning and fade by midday. Capers are often cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical zones for their aromatic flower buds, which are used as a condiment, they are also frequently gathered from the wild. There are some named varieties, the most commonly cultivated form tends to be the spineless C. spinosa inermis. Special Features: Not North American native, Invasive, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots of well-drained soil when they are large enough to handle. Grow on the young plants for at least their first winter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in sand in a cold frame.

Edible Uses: The flower buds are pickled and used as a flavouring in sauces, salads etc. The young fruits and tender branch tips can also be pickled and used as a condiment. The flower buds are harvested in the early morning and wilted before pickling them in white vinegar. Young shoots – cooked and used like asparagus.  CLICK  & SEE  THE PICTURES

Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic; Anthelmintic; Antihaemorrhoidal; Aperient; Deobstruent; Depurative; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Expectorant; Tonic; Vasoconstrictor.
The root-bark is analgesic, anthelmintic, antihaemorrhoidal, aperient, deobstruent, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, tonic and vasoconstrictive. It is used internally in the treatment of gastrointestinal infections, diarrhoea, gout and rheumatism. Externally, it is used to treat skin conditions, capillary weakness and easy bruising. The bark is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The stem bark is bitter and diuretic. If taken before meals it will increase the appetite. The unopened flower buds are laxative. They are used internally in the treatment of coughs, and externally to treat eye infections. The buds are a rich source of compounds known as aldose-reductose inhibitors – it has been shown that these compounds are effective in preventing the formation of cataracts. The buds are harvested before the flowers open and can be pickled for later use – when prepared correctly they are said to ease stomach pain. A decoction of the plant is used to treat vaginal thrush. The leaves are bruised and applied as a poultice in the treatment of gout.

The unopened flower buds are laxative and, if prepared correctly with vinegar, are thought to ease stomach pain. The bark is bitter and diuretic, and can be taken immediately before meals to increase the appetite. The root bark is purifying and stops internal bleeding. It is used to treat skin conditions, capillary weakness, and easy bruising, and is also used in cosmetic preparations. A decoction of the plant is used to treat yeast and vaginal infections such as candidiasis. Capers are an appetizer and digestive. Since ancient times, caper poultices have been used to ease swellings and bruises and this led to the belief that rutin had properties affecting the permeability of the blood capillaries; such as reducing their fragility though clinical evidence is inconclusive .

Other Uses: An extract of the root is used as a cosmetic and is particularly useful in treating rose-coloured rashes and capillary weaknesses. The plant is used as Landscaping :Cascades, Container, Erosion control, Ground cover.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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