Capparis sicula, Caparis ovata, Sicilian caper,
צלף סיצילי

Scientific name:  Capparis sicula Veillard
Synonym name:  Capparis ovata Desf.
Common name:  Sicilian caper
Hebrew name:  צלף סיצילי
Plant Family:  Capparaceae, צלפיים

Flora en Israel, Flowers in Israel

Life form:  Shrub
Spinescence:  Stipules
Stems:  Underground, branched perennial stems and decaying annual aerial parts; procumbent, semi-erect, sometimes reaching up to 3 m long, glaucous
Leaves:  Stipules usually stout; alternate, pubescence on leaves from lax to very dense
Flowers:  Flower buds rounded or acute; floral pedicels thick and short, 2.5– 3.5 cm; flowers zygomorphic; stamens 100 to 150, anthers 3.5–4 mm, with acute apices
Fruits / Pods:  Fruit oblong, pulp red; ripe seeds dark brown, 2.7–3 3 2.6–2.8 3 1.8–2 mm
Flowering Period:   January, February, March, April, May, June, July
Habitat:  Heavy soils
Distribution:  Semi-steppe shrublands, Shrub-steppes, Deserts and extreme deserts
Chorotype:   Irano-Turanian - Saharo-Arabian
Summer shedding:  Perennating

Capparis sicula, Caparis ovata, Sicilian caper, צלף סיצילי
Flower bud

Derivation of the botanical name:
Capparis (latin), borrowed from Greek kapparis [κάππαρις], whose origin is unknown but probably West or Central Asia (Alkabara, kabar). Another theory links kapparis to the name of the island Cyprus (Kypros [Κύπρος]), where capers grow abundantly. Arabic kafara, to be hairy, villous.
sicula, of Sicily.
ovata, ovate, egg-shaped, with the broad end down.
The Hebrew name: צלף, tzalaf, zalaph, which in the Bible is a proper name (Nehemia 3:30). The caper's fruit, the evyonah, is mentioned in Ecclesiastes 12:5 as a symbol of shortness of man's life, because very soon after it blossoms, the fruit scatters its seeds and the plant withers; "The almond-tree shall blossom… and the caperberry shall fail; Because man goeth to his long home…."
  • The standard author abbreviation Veillard is used to indicate Veillard, , a French botanist.
  • The standard author abbreviation Desf. is used to indicate Nicaise Auguste Desvaux (1784–1856), a French botanist.