Plants of
South Australia
Capparis mitchellii
Capparaceae
Native orange
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
Endangered
Critically endangered
Extinct
Data deficient
Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 10.

Etymology

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.

Distribution and status

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.
Herbarium regions: Lake Eyre, Flinders Ranges, Eastern
NRM region: South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

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. Fruits are a large globular green fruit turning brown when mature, with yellow flesh inside. Seeds are large pale brown semi-flat seeds to 10 mm long and 7 mm wide. Seed embryo type is peripheral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and December. Collect mature fruits usually when the flesh inside is bright yellow and the seeds are hard and brown. 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. From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 80%.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
270 (39.4 g)
1,100 (155.71 g)
50+11-Jan-2006DJD240
Flinders Ranges
28-Jul-200680%-18°C
BGA1,400 (126.86 g)3-Mar-2006DJD240
Flinders Ranges
1-Jan-2012 -18°C
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:
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