Desert Caper
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Desert Caper
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Desert Caper, Desert Maerua • Hindi: हेमकन्द Hemkand • Gujarati: Vika • Kannada: ನೆಲಸಕ್ಕರೆಗಡ್ಡೆ Nela sakkare gadde, ನೆಲಸಕ್ರೆಗಡ್ಡೆ Nela sakre gadde • Telugu: Morinika • Tamil: பூமிசக்கரை Bhumichakkarai
Botanical name: Maerua oblongifolia    Family: Capparaceae (Caper family)
Synonyms: Maerua arenaria, Capparis oblongifolia, Maerua scabra

Desert Caper is a climbing shurb, growing up to 3 m long, commonly found growing wild in scrubland. Leaves are oblong-ovate, 2-4.5 cm long, 0.7-2.5 cm broad, entire. Flowers are usually in dense, corymb-like racemes, greenish-white, flower-stalklate. They look beautiful with mainly the greenish stamens radiating out. Sepals 4, ovate-elliptic, pointed or slightly tapering. Fruit cylindrical, 3-8 cm long, 1-1.5 cm broad, torulose or irregularly many knotted, pale brown, often somewhat twisted. A very variable species with regards to hairiness and size of leaves. Desert Caper is found in West Asia, Africa, W. Pakistan, India and Ceylon.

Identification credit: Navendu Pagé Photographed in Delhi.

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