(Capparis spinosa var. canescens)
Capparis spinosa


A hardy non-aromatic perennial with fleshy leaves and many hooked thorns. The four petalled, large, sweet scented, white flowers appear from May to August opening near sunset. Fruit a largish, globular berry.


Grows all over the Island from sea-level to 2,800 ft particularly in rocky places and often on old walls.

Uses and Properties

The unopened flower buds and young shoots of caper are collected and preserved in olive oil and vinegar for use in salads. The plant also has medicinal properties. Antiseptic, diuretic and tonic properties are attributed to substances found in the flower buds and roots. It can also be used against the common cold and in the treatment of arteriosclerosis. Eye infections can be treated with an eye wash made from caper.