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Capparis zeylanica L.

Capparis zeylanica L.




Capparis horrida L.f.

Vernacular Names


Melada (General).


Halubagat-baging (Tagalog), tarabtab (Ilokano), baralauik (Ibanag).




Rook saa.


Sa ae (South-western), yieo kai (Eastern), thao lang maakkep (Northern).


C[as]p t[is]ch lan, gai den.

Geographical Distributions

Capparis zeylanica is from India to Indo-China, Penin­sular Malaysia, Indonesia (Java, Sulawesi, Lesser Sunda Islands), and the Philippines.


Capparis zeylanica is a climbing shrub, 2-5(-10) m tall with zigzag branches which are tawny to brownish red pubescence.

The leaves are ovate to elliptical, and measure 4-10(-18) cm x 3-6(-9) cm. The base is acute or obtuse, acute at tip, leathery, with 0.5-1.5 cm long petiole, 3-6 mm long thorns and recurved.

There are 2-5 flowers in a row, which are rarely soli­tary, with stout pedicel and 1-2 cm long. The sepals are concave, 1 cm long and hairy while the petals are 0.9-1.6 cm long, thin, white to pink­ish, with the inner side turning darker later from pinkish to red. There are 30-50 stamens with 2.5-3.5 cm long filaments. They are pink but later turn to dark purple.

The gynophore measures 2.5-4.5 cm and hairy only towards the base. The berry is globular to ellipsoid and measures up to 5 cm x 4 cm. Seeds are numerous.

Ecology / Cultivation

Capparis zeylanica occurs in hedges, brushwoods, savannas, forest borders, at low and medium altitudes, and un­der seasonal climatic conditions.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2.

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