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Plant identification guides:
Bush tucker food forest

Information about medicinal qualities of plants, or about their use as medicines, is for interest only, and is not intended to be used as a guide for the treatment of medical conditions.


As with all medicinal applications of Australian bush foods, please do your due diligence and consult with First Nations or other Australian herbal specialists before utilising as a remedy for any condition.


Some parts of the plant may not be edible or some may need preparation before they are safe to eat or use in any way. We do our best to describe their traditional & modern uses. It is the reader’s responsibility to ensure they are fit for their intended use.


We can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Native Caper

Scientific name:

Other Names:

Capparis lucida

Coast caper



Native Caper

Basic info:

A large evergreen shrub from North Queensland, it is also found in various parts of Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

from arid regions, capparis lucida has evolved to thrive with minimal moisture, exhibiting a high drought tolerance.

Usually found at low elevations close to sea level, growing adjacent to mangroves and rivers, it is typically found in rocky or sandy habitats. It grows well in beach forest but also found in vine thickets and monsoon forests.

It prefers well-drained soils and can often be found in areas with a high degree of sunlight.

Frequently grows into a small tree, sometimes somewhat scandent but usually flowers and fruits as a shrub 3-4 m tall.

Leaves are elliptical, shiny, deep green and alternately arranged, approx. 10 cm long and 5 cm wide. Its waxy, glossy leaves reflect sunlight, aiding in water retention—an adaptation to arid conditions. The branches often bear sharp spines.

The large, fragrant flowers are composed of white or cream petals and countless long white or purple stamens, followed by small, purple or black edible fruits in hanging clusters when ripe. The flowers of Capparis lucida attract a variety of pollinators, including bees and butterflies, which help in the plant's reproductive process.

Capparis lucida belongs to the same genus as the common caper (Capparis spinosa), which is well-known for its edible flower buds used in Mediterranean cuisine.

Uses and Interesting Information:

Its fruit, a berry-like capsule, is edible. The orange flesh of the berry clings to the seeds, so there’s not a lot you can do with it apart from eating fresh.  You can use the berries like chewing gum, holding it in the mouth as a thirst quencher, before discarding the well sucked seeds.

The young shoots and leaves of Capparis lucida are also used as a vegetable in traditional and indigenous cuisines.

Traditional medicine practices in some regions use parts of Capparis lucida for various remedies, including treating skin conditions and digestive issues.

Due to its attractive foliage and flowers, Capparis lucida is occasionally used as an ornamental plant in gardens and landscapes. 


  • Recipes to come

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