Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Capparis spinosa--Common Caper-A Plant of the Bible



You may know capers as the tiny pickles in tartar sauce made from the flower buds of Capparis spinosa, which are picked by hand. They were also used during Biblical times, apparently as an aphrodisiac. One phrase from Ecclesiastes can be translated as "when the caper has lost its tang" or as "when a man has lost his desire." They are also mentioned in a book from 3,000 BC, Gilgamesh.

The plant is apparently easy to grow, needing little fertilizer or water. I like the way it drapes over the rocks at the UC Botanical Garden. And I love the big petals and fluffy lavender stamens of the flower. Very decorative!

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