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Capparis spinosa, photo courtesy of Jerry Pavia
Capparis spinosa, photo courtesy of Jerry Pavia

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Zones 8, 9, 12-24
Full Sun
Regular WaterMinimal Water
Moderate, Minimal

Capparis spinosa


Evergreen, Edible fruit, Shrubs, Flowers

This Mediterranean native’s habit varies: it can sprawl, or become a dense, rounded shrub 5 ft. tall and wide. Leaves deep green, nearly round, up to 2 in. across on vinelike, sometimes spiny branches. In late spring through summer, white, 2’ with showy brushes of lavender stamens rise on long stalks from every leaf base.They open at dawn; close in late afternoon. The pickled unopened buds are commercial capers.

Propagate from cuttings or seed (seeds are slow to sprout and grow). Tolerates poor soil but needs good drainage.

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