Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tree Thursday - Jamaican Caper

Jamaican Caper
Capparis cynophallophora
(KAP-ar-riss sin-oh-fal-oh-FOR-uh)
This 6- to 20-foot-tall, native shrub or small tree  is an upright to spreading plant that is related to plant producing edible capers. The evergreen leaves of the Jamaica Caper are light green above, with fine brown scales below. These glossy, oval leaves are folded together when they first emerge and give the plant's new growth a bronze appearance. Jamaica Caper flowers have very showy, creamy white when first opening and turning a light purple as they age.  The flowering season is usually from April to July, but an errant flower or two can appear anytime during the year.  When ripe, the seed pods burst open and are bright red on the inside.  Seed pods develop from the flowers during July-September.  They ripen at the height of the rainy season. The seeds are wrapped in a sticky, oily, waxy substance that the birds really enjoy. 
Jamaican Capers can be planted as a hedge or pruned into a small tree.   In Fort Lauderdale, you can find Jamaican Capers used as a hedge in Greenfield Park (just south of the Galleria Mall) and as mature trees in front (next to wall) of the Social Center in Holiday Park. 

Growth Rate – Slow
Salt Tolerance – High
Drought Tolerance – High

Blooming tree: