Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Capparis spinosa (photo courtesy of Jerry Pavia)
Capparis spinosa (photo courtesy of Jerry Pavia)

Click to Enlarge

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

Capparis spinosa

Caper

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 are deep green, nearly round, up to 2 in. across on vinelike, sometimes spiny branches. In late spring through summer, white, 2–3-in. flowers 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.

You Might Also Like...

Atriplex lentiformis breweri

Native to California coast south of San Francisco Bay and to Channel Islands. Resembles A. lentifo...

Fraxinus velutina coriacea

Native mostly to Southern California. Broader, more leathery leaves than the species.

Atriplex semibaccata

Native to Australia but naturalized in parts of the West and Southwest. Forms a dense, foot-high mat o...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More

Advertisement