Caperbush Capparis spinosa, copyright Joan Simon.

Belongs within: Brassicales.
Contains: Cleome.

The Capparaceae are a group of trees, shrubs and herbs, often with spiny stipules on the leaves, found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world (Harden 1990). Flower buds and fruit of the caperbush Capparis spinosa are pickled and used as a condiment.

Characters (from Harden 1990): Herbs, climbers, shrubs or trees, glabrous or hairy. Leaves alternate, compound or simple and entire to deeply dissected; juvenile leaves often different from the adult foliage; mostly petiolate; stipules usually spiny, sometimes minute or absent. Inflorescence terminal or lateral, racemose or flowers solitary. Flowers usually actinomorphic, bisexual. Sepals mostly 4 in two whorls, the outer 2 free or fused, the inner 2 free. Petals usually 4, equal, free. Stamens 1–many, free or sometimes fused to gynophore; anthers 2-locular, dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Disc sometimes present between stamens and ovary. Ovary superior, 2–6-carpellate, 1–3-locular, usually on a gynophore, sometimes sessile; ovules 1–many; stigma more or less sessile. Fruit usually a stalked capsule or berry; 1–many-seeded.

<==Capparaceae [Capparidaceae, Capparoideae]
    |--Cleomoideae [Cleomaceae]H93
    |    |--BuhsiaT00
    |    |--PodandrogyneT00
    |    |--Isomeris arborea (see below for synonymy)H93
    |    |--Oxystylis luteaH93, BW79
    |    |--CleomeN02
    |    |--Polanisia dodecandraH93
    |    |    |--P. d. ssp. dodecandraH93
    |    |    `--P. d. ssp. trachyspermaH93
    |    |--Wislizenia refractaH93, BW79
    |    |    |--W. r. ssp. refractaH93
    |    |    |--W. r. ssp. californicaH93
    |    |    `--W. r. ssp. palmeriH93
    |    `--CleomellaH93
    |         |--C. brevipesH93
    |         |--C. hillmaniiH93
    |         |--C. obtusifolia [incl. C. obtusifolia var. pubescens]H93
    |         |--C. parvifloraH93
    |         `--C. plocasperma [incl. C. plocasperma var. mojavensis, C. plocasperma var. stricta]H93
              |--C. aegyptia de Lamarck 1785 [incl. C. spinosa var. aravensis, C. sinaica Veillard in Duhamel 1801]RF03
              |--C. arboreaB00
              |--C. atamisqueaRJ11
              |--C. canescensB00
              |--C. cartilaginea Decaisne 1835 (nom. cons.) [incl. C. galeata Fresenius 1837, C. inermis Forsskål 1775]RF03
              |--C. dahi Forsskål 1775RF03
              |--C. deciduaPP07
              |--C. flexuosaWM09
              |--C. jacobsiiB12
              |--C. lasianthaB00
              |--C. loranthifoliaH90
              |--C. lucidaLK14
              |--C. mitchelliiB00
              |--C. multifloraDD73
              |--C. nobilisB00
              |--C. pittieiriOV97
              |--C. quinifloraLK14
              |--C. sarmentosaH90
              |--C. sepiariaB00
              |--C. spinosaRF03 [incl. C. spinosa var. coriacea (n. n.)D17]
              |    |--C. s. var. spinosaLK14
              |    `--C. s. var. nummulariaLK14
              |--C. umbonataB12
              |--C. verrucosaBTA75
              `--C. zeylanicaP03
Capparaceae incertae sedis:
  Apophyllum anomalumB00
    |--M. crassifolia [incl. M. rigida]D17
    `--M. oblongifoliaPP07
  Capparites cynphylloidesCBH93
  Bachmannia Pax 1897KC01
  Keithia Spreng. 1822KC01
    |--C. capparoidesLK14
    |--C. fruticosaPP07
    `--C. glandulosaS89
    |--C. magnaBB07
    |--C. religiosaB00
    `--C. tapiaK06
    |--B. angustifoliaHK98
    `--B. senegalensisHK98

Isomeris arborea [incl. I. arborea var. angustata, I. arborea var. globosa, I. arborea var. insularis, Cleome isomeris]H93

*Type species of generic name indicated


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[BB07] Baishya, A. K., & P. J. Bora. 2007. Cross community ethno-medico botany of Dibru-Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve, Assam. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49: 121–154.

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[B12] Braby, M. F. 2012. The butterflies of El Questro Wilderness Park, with remarks on the taxonomy of the Kimberley fauna, Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 27 (2): 161–175.

[BW79] Bremer, K., & H.-E. Wanntorp. 1979. Geographic populations or biological species in phylogeny reconstruction? Systematic Zoology 28 (2): 220–224.

[CBH93] Collinson, M. E., M. C. Boulter & P. L. Holmes. 1993. Magnoliophyta (‘Angiospermae’). In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 809–841. Chapman & Hall: London.

[DD73] Deb, D. B., & R. M. Dutta. 1973. Contribution to the flora of Tirap Frontier Division. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 69 (3): 547–573.

[D17] Diels, L. 1917. Beiträge zur Flora der Zentral-Sahara und ihrer Pflanzengeographie. Nach der Sammelausbeute des Freiherrn Hans Geyr von Schweppenburg. Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 54 (Beiblatt 120): 51–155.

[HK98] Hahn, A., & H. Kusserow. 1998. Spatial and temporal distribution of algae in soil crusts in the Sahel of W Africa: Preliminary results. Willdenowia 28: 227–238.

[H90] Harden, G. J. (ed.) 1990. Flora of New South Wales vol. 1. New South Wales University Press.

[H93] Hickman, J. C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press: Berkeley (California).

[KC01] Kirk, P. M., P. F. Cannon, J. C. David & J. A. Stalpers. 2001. Ainsworth & Bisby’s Dictionary of the Fungi 9th ed. CAB International: Wallingford (UK).

[K06] Kwiecinski, G. G. 2006. Phyllostomus discolor. Mammalian Species 801: 1–11.

[LK14] Lyons, M. N., G. J. Keighery, L. A. Gibson & T. Handasyde. 2014. Flora and vegetation communities of selected islands off the Kimberley coast of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 81: 205–244.

[N02] Nagar, P. S. 2002. Cleome scaposa DC., Capparaceae—a rare species for Saurashtra. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 99 (3): 543–544.

[OV97] Ochoa, R., C. Vargas, D. E. Walter & B. M. OConnor. 1997. Two new species of the genus Ceratotarsonemus (Acari: Tarsonemidae). International Journal of Acarology 23 (3): 177–183.

[PP07] Pandey, R. P., & P. M. Padhye. 2007. Studies on phytodiversity of Arid Machia Safari Park-Kailana in Jodhpur (Rajasthan). Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49: 15–78.

[P03] Paul, T. K. 2003. Botanical observations on the Purulia pumped storage hydropower project area, Bagmundi Hills, Purulia district, West Bengal. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 45: 121–142.

[RJ11] Rising, J. D., A. Jaramillo, J. L. Copete, P. G. Ryan & S. C. Madge. 2011. Family Emberizidae (buntings and New World sparrows). In: Hoyo, J. del, A. Elliott & D. A. Christie (eds) Handbook of the Birds of the World vol. 16. Tanagers to New World Blackbirds pp. 428–683. Lynx Edicions: Barcelona.

[RF03] Rivera, D., I. Friis, C. Inocencio, C. Obón, F. Alcaraz & A. Reales. 2003. The typification of Capparis inermis Forssk., C. sinaica Veill. and C. cartilaginea Decne. (Capparaceae). Taxon 52: 307–311.

[S89] Simon, E. 1889. Butheolus thalassinus. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France, 6e série 9: xcviii–xcix.

[T00] Thorne, R. F. 2000. The classification and geography of the flowering plants: dicotyledons of the class Angiospermae (subclasses Magnoliidae, Ranunculidae, Caryophyllidae, Dilleniidae, Rosidae, Asteridae, and Lamiidae). The Botanical Review 66: 441–647.

[WM09] Wang, H., M. J. Moore, P. S. Soltis, C. D. Bell, S. F. Brockington, R. Alexandre, C. C. Davis, M. Latvis, S. R. Manchester & D. E. Soltis. 2009. Rosid radiation and the rapid rise of angiosperm-dominated forests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 106 (10): 3853–3858.

[YY22] Yampolsky, C., & H. Yampolsky. 1922. Distribution of sex forms in the phanerogamic flora. Bibliotheca Genetica 3: 1–62.

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