Treasured by humans for culinary seasonings and garnishes since ancient times, capers are the immature flower buds of a tough, drought tolerant shrub that is native to the Mediterranean region. This dense, scrambling or sprawling perennial bush may grow to as much as 5 ft (1.5 m) tall with an even greater spread. Solitary, 4-petaled white to pinkish flowers with long slender stamens open over a long period from spring into summer among thick rounded leaves. The stems may be spiny or unarmed. After harvest, the flower buds are preserved in granular salt or pickled in vinegar. Grows cascading or hanging from cracks and crevices in stone walls, boulders, and rock outcroppings with full sun exposure and in nutrient poor, fast draining soils of road embankments.
Scientific name: Capparis spinosa
Italian common name: Cappero comune
English common name: Caper