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Genus of the Week

Week of Feb. 1-7

flower line - 2.2 K
This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of all available Web resources for a particular genus.
If you like this page, you should also visit the Land of the Glandular Trichomes , a microscopic look at plants in the Lamiaceae family.

This week's genus:


Subclass: Dicotyledoneae
Superorder: Dilleniidae
Order: Capparales
Family: Capparaceae
Number of Species: 8
The genus Capparis is perhaps best known for the species C. spinosa, from which the unopened flower buds are harvested and called "capers". Long before they were used to create fancy appetizers and to garnish smoked salmon, they were eaten as an appetite stimulant. There is some dispute as to whether what has been referred to in the Old Testament as "Hyssop" was a member of the Lamiaceae (the Mints), or was actually C. spinosa, which is known in the Middle East as "azaf".

Here are some links to images and information concerning the genus Capparis:


  1. Genders, Roy. Edible Wild Plants: A Guide to Natural Foods. New York, van der Marck Editions: 1988.
  2. Grieve, M. (C. F. Leyel, ed.). A Modern Herbal. London, Tiger Books International: 1973.
  3. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.

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