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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Capparaceae
Capparis mitchellii

Citation: Lindley in T.L. Mitchell, Three Exped. Int. eastern Austral. 1:311 (1838).

Synonymy: Busbeckea mitchellii (Lindley)F. Muell., Pl. Vict. 1:53, t. 4 (1861). , Capparis spinosa

Common name: Native orange, wild orange, bumble, native pomegranate.

Shrubs or trees to 10 m tall; branches densely covered with appressed hairs, or with spreading hairs and stout recurved spines on coppice and juvenile shoots; leaves with petioles to 10 mm long; lamina obovate, oblanceolate to elliptic, 2.5-5 x 1-3 cm, obtuse to rounded rarely acute, coriaceous, with few hairs and dark-green above, densely hairy and greyish-green below.

Inflorescence a short terminal raceme with 1 or 2 rarely to 5 flowers, usually associated with new growth flushes; sepals orbicular, 11-16 mm long; outer pair tough and leathery, finely hairy outside, usually completely fused around the globular-acuminate buds; inner pair membranous and almost petaloid with a few long hairs inside; petals oblanceolate to obovate-spathulate, 2-3 cm long, woolly at the base, cream to pale-yellow; stamens numerous, crumpled first but later exserted; ovary pear-shaped with a terminal stigma on a short style, borne on a gynophore 4.5-6 cm long.

Fruit globose or almost so, 3-7 cm diam., with a tough pericarp, smooth to irregularly warted, hairy to glabrous, with numerous seeds in fleshy pulp.

image of FSA1_Capparis_mit.jpg Capparis mitchellii
Image source: fig 206a in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p. 338.

Distribution:  Found in inland habitats of predominantly eastern and central Australian regions.

S.Aust.: LE, FR, EA, EP.   All mainland States.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: probably in all months.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Taxonomic notes: Previous records of C. spinosa L. var. nummularia (DC.)Bailey from S.Aust. are based on juvenile or coppice shoots of this species which have recurred to almost straight spines and elliptic leaves with very short or no petioles. Similarly, records of C. loranthifolia Lindley var. loranthifolia and C. lasiantha R. Br. ex DC., both of which occur close to the S.Aust. borders, must be attributed to misidentifications of specimens of C. mitchellii.

Author: Not yet available

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