Family of the week : CAPPARIDACEAE

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satish phadke

May 6, 2008, 12:42:24 PM5/6/08
to indiantreepix, wildflowerindia

Capparis grandis

Cadaba fruiticosa

Capparis decidua(aphylla)

Crataeva nurvala

Maerua oblongifolia

In India 7 genera and 53 species occuring in western and south India and few in tropical Himalayas.
Vegetative characters:
The family includes herbs shrubs and climbers.They contain watery sap.
The leaves are alternate and simple(Capparis) or more commonly palmately compound(3-9 foliolate).The stipules are usually present which may be foliaceous(Cleome) or spinose(Capparis).
Inflorescence and flowers : The flowers are solitary and in fascicles of 3 or4 but more commonly the are racemose.
The flowers are bracteate,complete, usually bisexual actinomorphic or some what zygomorphic by unequal development of members as in Capparis, tetramerous and hypogynous.
The calyx is usually of four sepals which are free or basally connate with valvate or imbricate aestivation.The four sepals are arranged in two series. The posterior sepal forms a hood like structure in Capparis.
The corolla is of four free petals but occasionally the are two(Cadaba) or altogether absent(Roydsia).The petals are diagonal,often clawed and valvate or imbricate.They are inserted on the edge of a disc in Maerua.
The androecium is of four to numerous free stamens.An androphore is present in some species of Cleome.
The gynoecium is usually bicarpellary and syncarpous; the ovary is sessile or elevated on a short or long gynophore, unilocular with two or four parietal placentae. The style is usually short with a bilobed or a capitate stigma.
The fruit is a capsule dehiscing by two valves(Cleome) or a berry(Capparis) or drupaceous. The seeds are angled or reniform, nonendospermic and with an incurved embryo.
Pollination and dispersal : The pollination is by insects which visit flowers for nectar secreted by the disc.The fruits are dispersed by water current(Crataeva) or by cattle by adhesion due to viscid exudation.
Examples :
Cleome gynandra
Crataeva nurvala C. religiosa



J.M. Garg

May 11, 2008, 5:28:06 AM5/11/08
to satish phadke, indiantreepix
Lovely shots & details, Satish ji.
Here are some extracts from Wikipedia link:

Capparaceae (Capparidaceae), or the Caper Family, as traditionally circumscribed is a family of flowering plants containing 28 genera and about 700 species of annual or perennial herbs, subshrubs, shrubs or trees, sometimes climbing, scrambling or rarely lianaceous of worldwide distribution. The family (sometimes spelled "Capparidaceae") is named for the genus Capparis.

Capparaceae have long been considered to be closely related to the mustard family, Brassicaceae, in part because both groups produce glucosinolate (mustard oil) compounds. Recent research (Hall et al. 2002) has demonstrated that Capparaceae as traditionally circumscribed are paraphyletic with respect to Brassicaceae, with Cleome and several related genera being more closely related to Brassicaceae than to other Capparaceae. Because of this, the two families are combined under the latter name in the APG II system, however it is recognized by several authors, like Kers in Kubitzki 2003, Takhtajan 1997, Shipunov 2005, and even more recently APG, through an update to APG II system as "Post-APG II family". [1]

Other recent classifications have continued to recognize Capparaceae but with a restricted circumscription, either by including Cleome and its relatives in the segregate family Cleomaceae, or by including these genera in Brassicaceae. Several other genera of the traditional Capparaceae are more closely related to other members of the Brassicales, and the relationships of several more remain unresolved (Hall et al. 2004).

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