Capparis spinosa var. nummularia – Coastal Caper

This is a great bush tucker plant, growing to a medium sized dense shrub, and also can be grown as an ornamental, being a handsome plant although best suited to tropical and coastal areas of Northern Australia. Grows naturally around the coast and inland along rivers and creeks in rocky soils in WA, NT and QLD.
This is a native Australian relative of the well-known caper bush, the fruits are delicious and the flower buds can also be pickled. The large white flowers have a delicate scent as well. The plant is butterfly attracting.
Likes water during dry times of year. Sensitive to frost.

Picture provided by Philip Clarke, from his new book Discovering Aboriginal Plant Use: Journeys of an Australian Anthropologist

Scientific Name:Capparis spinosa var. nummularia
Common Name:Coastal Caper
Other Common Names:Wild Passionfruit
Plant Type:Small shrub, Large shrub
Height:1 ~ 2 metre
Width:1 ~ 1.5 metre
Flower Colour:White, Cream
Flowering Time:All year
Ph Level:Neutral
Soil Type:Sandy, Sandy loam, Poor soil
Plant Environment:Low maintenance garden, Container growing, Flower garden, Coastal garden, Drought resistant
Climate Zone:Tropical, Sub-tropical, Warm temperate, Semi-arid, Arid
Planting Season:Spring
Growth Habit:Evergreen, Dense foliage
Threats:White caper caterpillars
Soil Moisture:Dry, Well-drained
Propagation Method:Seed, Semihardwood cutting
Frost Tolerance:Tolerates light frost
Plant Usage:Fragrant
Special Uses:Edible, Erosion control
Attracts Wildlife:Butterflies


Once you have found the plant that you want, the next step is to find where to get it. Nurseries stock a good range of plants, but due to space and supplies, they may or may not have the wanted plant in stock. If they don’t, they may be able to order it in for you.  Specialist nurseries are also able to give great advice, and if they don’t have the plant you want, they can often suggest alternative plants that will be just as good for you. Below is a list of our favourite specialist nurseries. Click on the links for their details-


The Wildflower Place Erina – NSW 


Sydney Wildflower Nursery – NSW


Newcastle Wildflower Nursery – NSW


Cool Country Natives – ACT


Geelong Native Plants – Victoria


Wimmera Native Nursery – Victoria


Zanthorrea Nursery – Perth WA


Manuka Native Nursery – South Australia




Sydney Wildflower Nursery – mail order


The Native Shop – mail order




Angus recommends Bush Tucker fertiliser for native plants.