Seeds of South Australia
Capparis mitchellii (Capparaceae)
Native orange
List of species for Capparis
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Seed collecting:
January to December
Herbarium regions:
Lake Eyre, Flinders Ranges, Eastern
NRM region:
South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Northern Flinders (FLB05)Flinders Lofty Block
 Least Concern
Murnpeowie (STP03)Stony Plains
 Least Concern   [edge of range]
Sturt Stony Desert (CHC02)Channel Country
 Least Concern
Coongie (CHC06) 
 Least Concern
Lake Pure (CHC07) 
 Least Concern
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Capparis]
Name derivation:
Capparis from the Greek 'kapparis' meaning originating in the near or Middle East. Mitchellii named in honour of Major Sir Thomas Mitchell (1792 - 1855), a Scottish surveyor and explorer of south-eastern Australia.
Found in the north-eastern arid region of South Australia. Also found in the Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in Western Australia. Common in the other States.
Plant description:
Small dense bushy tree growing to 10 m tall, with dull green, thick, hairy leaves and long spines on juvenile stems. Flowers large cream to pale yellow with numerous and conspicuous stamens. Flowering possibly all year round.
Fruit type:
A large globular green fruit turning brown when mature, with yellow flesh inside.
Seed type:
Large pale brown semi-flat seeds to 10 mm long and 7 mm wide.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect mature fruits usually when the flesh inside is bright yellow and the seeds are hard and brown.
Seed cleaning:
Soak the hard fruit in water and leave until soft. Then break open the fruits and wash the content in water. Drain the liquid leaving behind the seeds. Place the wet seeds onto paper towels and leave to dry. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.
Seed viability:
From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 80%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
270 (39.4 g)
1100 (155.71 g)
Flinders Ranges
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
Mar-0639%9 dNA
filter paper over moist sponge;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Mar-0639%24 dNA
filter paper over moist sponge;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Mar-0632%16 dNA
filter paper over moist sponge;
12/12  /  20°C
Mar-0626%16 dNA
filter paper over moist sponge;
12/12  /  20°C
Result: Maximum percentage of germination observed.
T0: Number of days before first germinant observed.
T50: Number of days to achieve 50% germination.
Pre-treatment: The initial treatment that the seeds received prior to placement on germination media.
Germination medium: The substrate that seeds were placed on for the duration of the germination experiment.
Incubator conditions:
Photoperiod: The duration of light exposure that the seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Thermoperiod: The constant or diurnal temperatures that seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Winter conditions: 15°C 20 h (3am→11pm); 5°C 4 h (11pm→3am) / 10 h light (8am→6pm); 14 h dark (6pm→8am)
Spring/Autumn conditions: 22°C 12 h (8am→8pm); 10°C 12 h (8pm→8am) / 12 h light (8am→8pm); 12 h dark (8pm→8am)
Summer conditions: 30°C 14 h (6am→8pm); 15°C 10 h (8pm→6am) / 14 h light (6am→8pm); 10 h dark (8pm→6am)