(From the Arabic term cabar). Cap-fiaris spinosa Lin. Sp. Pi. 720. The caper bush. It is a low prickly bush, grows wild in Italy, Spain, and the southern parts of France. Those of Provence are the best; those of Tunis, where they also grow, are very inferior. The plant, however, is originally an Asiatic one. The bark of the root is bitterish and acrid to the taste, and is ranked among aperients and diuretics. The green buds of the flowers are pickled in vinegar and salt, and are used at the table to assist the appetite. In Holland and Germany they substitute the buds of the flowers of the cytisogenista scoparia vulgaris flore luteo for the capers, and pickle them in the same manner. The plant grows in the crevices of the rocks and of old walls. The buds are numerous, and daily gathered, as they soon grow too large. Those which escape, and when the fruit becomes the size of a gerkin, are preserved in sugar. Capers are separated according to their different sizes by sieves, with suitable apertures: the small and green ones are preferred, which has led to a suspicion that an artificial colour is sometimes given. See Condiments.

Capparis fabago, capparis portulaca, C. B. See Fabago.