Plant Listings

Capparis cynophallophora

Common Names: Caper Tree, Black Willow, Wild Orange, Jamaican Caper, Mustard Tree, Headache bush

Family: Brassicaceae

Habit: Capparis cynophallophora grows as a large shrub to small tree up to 8 meters in height with red-brown bark.  The leaves are arranged alternately, to 13 cm long, elliptic to oblong with an entire leaf margin and obtuse or acute leaf apex.  The stems, petioles and abaxial leaf surfaces are covered with brown lepidote scales.

The actinomorphic flowers are arranged in racemes. All parts of the flower have lepidote scales. The calyx has 4 brown, unfused sepals. The corolla has 4 white to pink, unfused petals. There are numerous stamens that are 3-4 times the length of the corolla and range from white to purple to bright red. The ovary is superior with a single locule and numerous seeds.  The fruit is a silique to 20 cm in length that is slightly constricted between the seeds.

Habitat: Capparis cynophallophora grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Woodlands/Shrublands (scrublands).

Distribution in Bahamas/Globally: Capparis cynophallophora occurs on almost all island groups within the Bahamian Archipelago as well as Florida, the entire Caribbean region and Mexico south to northern South America.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Capparis cynophallophora is not used medicinally in the Bahamas.

Capparis cynophallophora is used in the horticultural industry for its beautiful and fragrant flowers that are good to attract birds and butterflies.


















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