Saturday, June 5, 2010

Jamaica caper

Jamaica caper, originally uploaded by Elizabeth Smith.

In my last post about Magnolias, I mentioned how we see them frequently as a landscaping plant, and the same is true for this shrub or small tree, Jamaica Caper.

Jamaica (or sometimes Jamaican) caper is blooming now, and I think the fragrant flowers are fascinating. The four petals surround a frothy cascade of stamens, with colors varying from white to lavender to deep purple as the blooms open and wither. Here is a scan of one of the older and faded flowers.

We had one of these beautiful shrubs, but it died after Hurricane Wilma passed through. I’m not sure if it was wind damage or the standing water that did it in. Otherwise, it was a low-maintenance plant with lots of benefits (a requirement to live in my yard!).

Jamaica caper is related to the culinary caper, Capparis spinosa, which also has a four-petaled white flower with long stamens.

You can click on the image above to view it larger on my Flickr photostream. Thanks for visiting!