Capparis flexuosa

Capparis flexuosa (L.) L.

Common Names: Caper Tree

Family: Capparaceae

Habit: Capparis flexuosa grows as a creeping liana climbing on other vegetation or as a low shrub to 1.5 meters in height with grey-brown bark.  The leaves are arranged alternately, to 15 cm long, oblanceolate to oblong with an entire leaf margin and obtuse or acute leaf apex.  Young stems, petioles and abaxial leaf surfaces are covered with brown lepidote scales.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in racemes with few flowers. All parts of the flower have lepidote scales. The calyx has 4 brown, unfused sepals. The corolla has 4 white, unfused petals. There are numerous, unfused, white stamens that are 3-4 times the length of the corolla. 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 flexuosa grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – shrublands/Dwarf Shrublands (scrubland)near in coastal areas.

Distribution: Capparis flexuosa occurs on central and southen island groups within the Lucayan Archipelago as well as Florida, the entire Caribbean region and Mexico south to northern South America.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Capparis flexuosa is not used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.

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