Caper, the flower bud of a low shrub (cap-paris spinosa), which grows on walls and ruins, or on rocks and accumulations of rubbish, in the south of Europe and the Levant. It is very common in Italy and in the southern parts of France. It grows wild upon the walls of Rome, Florence, and Siena, and is cultivated on a large scale between Marseilles and Toulon, and also in many parts of Italy. It begins to flower in the early part of summer, and flowers continuously until the commencement of winter. The buds are picked every morning before the petals are expanded, and are put into vinegar as they are gathered. They are distributed according to their size into different vessels and prepared for the market; the youngest and the smallest, being most tender, are the first in quality; and hence the different sizes are placed in separate vinegar jars, denoting difference of quality and value. The stems of the caper bush are trailing and 2 or 3 ft. long. The leaves are alternate, ovate, veined, and of a bright green color. The flowers are white, large, and beautiful, with a tinge of red. They are divided into four petals, and from the centre of each flower springs a long tassel of deep lilac stamens.

The brilliant blossoms give a very gay appearance to the plant.

Caper (Capparis spinosa).

Caper (Capparis spinosa).