Olax-Leaf Caper
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Olax-Leaf Caper
P Native Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Olax-Leaf Caper • Assamese: Kotoha, Kota-khar, Lokra
Botanical name: Capparis olacifolia    Family: Capparaceae (Caper family)

Olax-Leaf Caper is a shrub or small tree, 1-5 m tall, with spreading branches. Spines in leaf axils are slender, straight, 3-5 mm. It is very similar to Capparis sabiifolia which has no spines in leaf axils. Leaf-stalk is 5-6 mm, leaf blade ovate, 7-13 x 4-5 cm, 2.2-2.6 times as long as wide, above rather glossy, surfaces soon becoming hairless, secondary veins 5-7 on each side of midvein. Base is rounded, tip gradually tapering, blunt to slightly pointed and mucronulate. Flowers are born (generally) in pairs, in leaf-axils. Flower-stalks are 0.7-1.5 cm, sepals 8-10 x 4-5 cm, margin membranous and woolly; sepals of outer whorl boat-shaped, ovate, surfaces hairless but margins woolly, tip pointed; sepal of inner whorl elliptic. Petals are white, 17-22 x about 5 mm; anterior petal pairs obovate, about 2 mm longer than posterior pairs, outside woolly toward tip and along margin, tip rounded; posterior petal pairs with a pale purple or yellow blotch. Stamens are 34-38; filaments 2.8-3.5 cm; anthers about 2 mm. Fruits are spherical, 7.5-10 mm across, tip beaked with persistent about 2 mm style. Olax-Leaf Caper is found in NE India, Bhutan, China, Myanmar, Nepal, at altitudes of 600-1500 m. Flowering: April-June.

Identification credit: Satish Maurya Photographed in Melli, Sikkim-Bengal border.

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