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Capparis tomentosa

   (Family: Capparaceae)
Afrikaans: Wollerige kapperbos English: Wooly caper-bush  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Shrub
Height: 10m
Special properties:
  Has Medicinal Uses
Rarity Status:
Preferred rainfall: Summer
Preferred altitude: 0 - 1380m
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Tolerated soil:  
  Sand (coarse texture, drains easily)
  In the view of reported human poisoning, the indiscriminate use of this plant medicinally is not recommended.
Flowering time EDIT
              x x x x  
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
  Flower info
  The flowers are white or pinkish and rather showy, with masses of stamens.
Leaf shape EDIT
Leaf margin
Leaf type
Leaf arrangement
Leaf texture Smooth
Leaf size 20 - 50mm
  Leaf info EDIT
  The young twigs and leaves are yellowish-green and covered in soft, velvety hairs. The oblong leaves are about 50 by 20 mm long and there is a pair of sharp, hooked thorns (modified stipules) at the base of each leaf where it is attached to the stem.
Fruit colour
  Seed size Length: 40mm   Width: 40mm
  Seed info EDIT
  The large (up to 4cm) rounded orange or pink fruits hang from a long stalk-like branch called a gynophore. Greyish, fleshy fruit pulp surrounds the seeds.
Description EDIT
This popular medicinal plant is usually a scrambling shrub and rarely becomes a small tree of up to 10m in height.
Growing EDIT
Distribution EDIT
Native to Zimbabwe and occurs naturally along the extreme eastern parts of South Africa.
History EDIT
Capparis roots are a popular medicine for a variety of ailments, mainly rheumatism, but also insanity, snake-bite, chest pains, jaundice, malaria, headache, coughs and pneumonia, and as a laxative.

The root is boiled in water and half a cupful of the infusion is taken three times a day for coughs and chest pain.
The powdered, burnt root is rubbed into the skin scarifications for the relief of headache.
Ecology EDIT
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  • Ben-Erik van Wyk, (2005), Medicinal Plants of South Africa ,Briza Publications  


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