Capparis mitchellii is a species of flowering plant in the family Capparaceae, commonly known as wild orange or desert caper. It is native to Australia and can be found in various habitats, including woodland, scrubland, and rocky outcrops. The plant typically grows as a shrub or small tree and can reach a height of up to 5 meters. It has thick, leathery leaves and produces fragrant white flowers that bloom from spring to summer. The fruit is a small, round, green or yellow berry that is edible and has a tangy flavor. Young branches possess spines that aid them in climbing into adjacent trees. In the Hawaiian Islands, the fruit may potentially be consumed and dispersed by pigs, or other frugivorous animals, but there are no reports that this plant has naturalized or become invasive anywhere in the world.
High Risk Traits:
- Could grow, and potentially spread, in regions with tropical climates.
- Listed as a weed in a few publications, but no impacts have been reported or described.
- Other Capparis species are reported to be crop weeds.
- Young branches downy, bearing recurved spines.
- Tolerates many soil types (i.e., not substrate limited).
- Reproduces by seeds.
- Reported to be self-fertile.
- Seeds dispersed by frugivorous animals, possibly including birds, and through intentional cultivation.
- Coppices and resprouts after cutting and fire.
Low Risk Traits:
- No reports of naturalization or invasiveness, but it is unclear how widely it has been cultivated outside its native range.
- Highly palatable
- Grows best in high light environments (dense shade may inhibit spread).
- Reaches maturity in 4-5 years.
- Relatively large, indehiscent fruit, and seeds unlikely to be accidentally dispersed.