Caper bushcapparis spinosa l Capparaceae


Capparis rupestris Sm. fide USN Notes (Caper Bush):

Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets.

Ecclesiastes 12:5 (KJV)

They are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along and desire fails; because man goes to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets.

Ecclesiastes 12:5 (RSV)

Karira Plant
FIGURE 1.18 Caper Bush (Capparis spinosa).

Also they have become afraid merely at what is high, and there are terrors in the way. And the almond tree carries blossoms, and the grasshopper drags itself along and the caper berry bursts; because man is walking to his long-lasting house, and the wailers have marched around in the street.

Ecclesiastes 12:5 (NWT)

While KJV and RSV call it "desire," the NWT graciously, and I hope accurately, calls it caper. I know that the capers of commerce belong to two taxonomic species: Capparis decidua (Scn. = karira, AH2) and Capparis spinosa (Scn. = caper bush, AH2; the biblical desire, ZOH), both of which occur in the Holy Land. The karira is almost leafless, like a broom, with corymbose red flowers, while the caper bush is a leafy clambering shrub with white flowers solitary or in fascicles of two or three (KAB; ZOH). Sharing some of the healthy virtures with the mustard family (Bras-sicaceae), this might be considered another healthy component of the Mediterranean diet.

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