Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Capparis lanceolaris DC.

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Flower. © CSIRO
Inflorescence and flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Candolle, A.P. de (1824) Prodromus 1: 248. Type: Java, Leschenault; holo: P. Fide Hewson (1982).

Common name

Native Caper; Caper, Native


Vine stem diameters to 4 cm recorded.


Leaf blades about 6-12 x 1.9-5 cm, petioles about 0.5-1.5 cm long. Stipules often present as recurved spines, about 1.5-2 mm long. Lateral veins about 9-14 on each side of the midrib, forming distinct loops inside the blade margin. Terminal buds and young shoots clothed in prostrate, pale brown hairs.


Flowers about 20-30 mm diam., sweetly perfumed. Sepals about 5-7 x 3 mm. Petals about 5-10 x 5 mm. Stamens numerous, about 15-20 per flower, filaments about 17-25 mm long, anthers about 0.5-2 mm long. Gynophore about 35-40 mm long. Ovary about 1 mm diam. Style very short or absent.


Fruits borne on long stalks. Fruits sub-globose, about 2.5-3.5 cm diam. Seeds about 6-12 mm long. Fide Hewson (1982).


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range not known with any certainty but appears to be confined to the lower elevations between sea level and 100 m. Grows in well developed lowland rain forest. Also occurs in Malesia.

Natural History & Notes

This species is used medicinally by northern Aborigines. Cribb (1981).

Capparis elliptica F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 9: 172(1875), Type: In montanis Timor; floret Septembri. (ref. J.B.Spanoghe, Linnaea 15 (1841) 166). Capparis uberiflora F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 9: 172(1875), Type: Brook Island; J. Dallachy; holo: MEL 590410; iso: K. Fide Hewson (1982).
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