Capparis spinosa, Caperbush at Petra, Steven Foster Photos

A study of the survival of Capparis spinosa, caperbush, capers in the sandstone at the Nabataean ruins of Petra in Jordan

The caper bush, Capparis spinosa with it's blue-green, rounded leaves and spreading habit is native to the Western Mediterranean region. It is the most widespread of the 23 species and subspecies of Capparis, at least 19 of which are used for food and medicine. They range wide from the Eastern Mediterranean, eastward through much of southern Asia, Australia and Pacific Islands.The familiar caper is the immature flowerbud of the plant preserved in vinegar or salt brine. An ancient food, capers have been retrieved from Neolithic pottery dating back 11,000 years; not just at one site but scattered through dozens of archeological traces of prehistory and antiquity.

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