Spermatophyta: Dicotyledonae: Archichlamydeae: Brassicales

Capparaceae - Caper family

Wild, H. (1960) Capparaceae Flora Zambesiaca 1(1)

Description of the family

Usually woody plants, i.e. shrubs, trees or climbers, less often herbs (Cleome). Stipules 0 or incompletely developed, rarely spiny (Capparis). Leaves alternate, simple or digitately 3-9-foliolate. Inflorescences terminal or axillary. Flowers actinomorphic or zygomorphic, bisexual or unisexual (by abortion), usually 4-merous, hypogynous. Receptacle cup-shaped, funnel-shaped or cylindric, sometimes very short. Sepals 3-4(-5). Petals (0-)4(5,6 or more). Stamens 2-many. In this family there is often a stalk between the sepals and the point of attachment of the stamens (androgynophore) and a further stalk between there and the ovary or fruit (gynophore). Ovary usually 1-locular. Style short or 0. Fruit a capsule or berry, variously shaped.

Comment: The members of this family (excluding Cleome) are particularly common at lower altitudes and also on termite mounds at higher altitudes.

Cleome is sometimes placed in a separate family, Cleomaceae.

Worldwide: 39 genera and 650 species, mostly warm areas with a few in arid temperate zones.

Zimbabwe: 1 cultivated genus and 2 cultivated taxa.

Insects associated with this family:
Belenois creona (African common white) Food plant
No image of a cultivated species but there is an image of a native or naturalised species

Links to cultivated genera:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this family

Cleome L.Description, Image

Other sources of information about Capparaceae:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Capparaceae
Flora of Caprivi: Capparaceae
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Capparaceae
Flora of Malawi: Capparaceae
Flora of Mozambique: Capparaceae
Flora of Zambia: Capparaceae
Flora of Zimbabwe: Capparaceae

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Capparaceae
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Capparaceae
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Capparaceae
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Capparaceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Capparaceae
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Capparaceae
JSTOR Plant Science: Capparaceae
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Capparaceae
Wikipedia: Capparaceae
Plants of the World Online: Capparaceae
Tropicos: Capparaceae

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Cultivated plants: Family page: Capparaceae.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/cult/family.php?family_id=48, retrieved 26 May 2024

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