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Capparis spinosa (photo courtesy of Jerry Pavia)
Capparis spinosa (photo courtesy of Jerry Pavia)

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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.

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