Capparis tomentosa Lam.

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Capparis tomentosa

Photo: Rob Burrett

Capparis tomentosa

Photo: Rob Burrett

Capparis tomentosa

Photo: Bart Wursten
Mutirikwi Bridge near Triangle.

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Common names: Woolly caper-bush (English)
Status: Native
Mostly a robust woody climber but occasionally a shrub or small tree, armed with sharp, paired, hooked thorns. All young parts are densely velvety. Leaves alternate, oblong to broadly elliptic, grey-green, covered in velvet hairs; margins entire. Flowers quite showy, yellowish-green with a mass of long white or pinkish stamens. Fruit large, up to 4 cm, pink to orange when ripe. The fruits hang from a long stalk-like branch called a gynophore.
Derivation of specific name: tomentosa: tomentose, densely woolly
Habitat: In woodland and on termite mounds
Altitude range: Up to 1380 m
Flowering time:Aug - Nov
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa and South Africa
Malawi distribution: C,S
Growth form(s): Climber, liane, shrub over 2 m.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Eronia leda (Larval food plant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 153. (Includes a picture).

Coates Palgrave K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 223.

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Page 91.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 237.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 357. (Includes a picture).

Mannheimer, C. & Curtis B. (2009). Le Roux and Müller's Field Guide to the Trees and Shrubs of Namibia Macmillan Education, Windhoek, Namibia. Pages 56 - 57. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 32.

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 47. (Includes a picture).

Roodt, V. (1998). Trees and Shrubs of the Okavango Delta Shell Field Guide Series: Part I Shell Oil Botswana, Gaberone. Pages 56 - 57. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 44.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 202.

Wild, H. (1960). Capparaceae Flora Zambesiaca 1(1) Page 236.

Other sources of information about Capparis tomentosa:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Capparis tomentosa
Flora of Caprivi: Capparis tomentosa
Flora of Mozambique: Capparis tomentosa
Flora of Zambia: Capparis tomentosa
Flora of Zimbabwe: Capparis tomentosa

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Capparis tomentosa
African Plant Database: Capparis tomentosa
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Capparis tomentosa
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Capparis tomentosa
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Capparis tomentosa
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Capparis tomentosa
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Capparis tomentosa
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Capparis tomentosa
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Capparis tomentosa
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Capparis tomentosa
Ispot Southern Africa: Capparis tomentosa
JSTOR Plant Science: Capparis tomentosa
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Capparis tomentosa
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Capparis tomentosa
The Plant List (version 1.1): Capparis tomentosa
Tropicos: Capparis tomentosa

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-19

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2019). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Capparis tomentosa., retrieved 25 June 2019

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