Capparis tomentosa Lam.

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Capparis tomentosa

Photo: Bart Wursten
Road nr 11 near Hippo House, Gorongosa National Park

Capparis tomentosa

Photo: Bart Wursten
Road nr 11 near Hippo House, Gorongosa National Park

Capparis tomentosa

Photo: Bart Wursten
Road nr 11 near Hippo House, Gorongosa National Park

Capparis tomentosa

Photo: Bart Wursten
Road nr 11 near Hippo House, Gorongosa National Park

Capparis tomentosa

Photo: Bart Wursten
Road nr 11 near Hippo House, Gorongosa National Park

Capparis tomentosa

Photo: Bart Wursten
Road 11 near Urema River, Gorongosa National Park

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

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 at lower altitudes, sometimes a liane; occurring at higher altitudes on termite mounds
Altitude range: Up to 1380 m
Flowering time:Aug - Nov
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa and South Africa
Mozambique distribution: N,Z,T,MS,GI,M
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
Content last updated: Sunday 13 March 2016

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).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 12.

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 Malawi: 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
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
iNaturalist: Capparis tomentosa
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Capparis tomentosa
JSTOR Plant Science: Capparis tomentosa
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Capparis tomentosa
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Capparis tomentosa
Plants of the World Online: Capparis tomentosa
The Plant List (version 1.1): Capparis tomentosa
Tropicos: Capparis tomentosa
Wikipedia: Capparis tomentosa

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-20

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2020). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Capparis tomentosa., retrieved 22 September 2020

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