Friday, September 2, 2011

Capparis spinosa: a successful strategic

We suppose that the plants do not think to lack brain, but when we observed which takes advantage the humans to proliferate and to extend their population, then we realize of which the plants of idiots do not have anything. Always silent and quiet they offer us its flowers, its fruits, its tubercles, its wood and they tempt like the children with a treat. Certainly they smile to its way when we fall in the temptation, when we pricked the hook and we seeded its seeds, tubercles, rhizomes and cuttings, we took care of with care its sprouts we exhibited, them in breeding grounds so that they are bought we dispersed, them in cars and trains we transported, them beyond the seas in merchant boats and airplanes we bought, them online by Internet we interchanged, them with strangers in forums of plants we seeded, them, we watered, we paid, we fumigated so that their enemies cannot do damage to them, we took "bad herbs" of its around so that they do not have competitors,….and in the end without being conscious of it simply we do what they want: to help them to proliferate, to extend and to perpetuate its species. They use us blatantly and its extrategia is than successful more. It is possible to be considered to this intelligence? I would say yes that.
The caper bush, Capparis spinosa, are an example of vegetal intelligence. Perhaps the word intelligence do not like speaking we of plants. We can replace by strategy, that in the end comes to be the same. We would speak then of vegetal strategy.

 The caper bush, spinosa Capparis, are an example of vegetal intelligence. Perhaps the word intelligence do not like speaking we of plants. We can replace by strategy, that in the end comes to be the same. We would speak then of vegetal strategy. The flowers of the caper bush are gorgeous views of fence. Their petals of an immaculate target shine with own light. They have a perfect design to attract his pollenizers: the bees, bumblebees, wasps and another insects, that go golosos to libar the abundant nectar of the bottom of the flower. Also they are used in exchange for the treat of the nectar. Without being conscious of it, while they occur the stuffing, the grains of pollen of anthers of their lengths estambres stick to their bodies and are transported until another flower, where one of pollen grains will stick to the stigma of pistilo and will fertilize the ovary. The left of the image already a fertilized stigma is seen initiating the growth of the ovary. 

The life of the caper bush has two stations. In autumn and winter to duer to me, rests, hibernates half, seems dead without leaves and with their stems droughts. In wide-awake spring of its lethargy and it vigorously brings forth long vine shoots, in whose ends they appear the floral cocoons, the capers, that are one of seasonings more valued by the humans, because with them, once conserved  in salt water and/or vinegar, delicious prescriptions of kitchen and exquisite sauces are elaborated.

Capers of different sizes collected in early September. If we open one we can see all components of the flower.

 After the pollination, the fertilized ovary begins to increase of size. At the outset one stays raised, but with the increase of weight it assumes a position to perdular. The fruit of the caper bush is called caper and usually it is collected when still he is tender. In Majorca the capers are very appreciated and they are encurten like the capers, generally in vinegar of good quality to which some people add a salt pinch to favor the conservation and to increase their peculiar flavor. 

The crude capers without encurtir taste very bitter. In the photo three smaller they are ideal to conserve. Both greater they are full of hard seeds that make inedible.

Traditionally in Majorca the caper bushes seed themselves in fields of dry land with little stony and calcareous earth between almonds tree, fig trees and carob trees. They like the direct sun and they support neither to the shade nor the minimum irrigation, which rots the roots to them. During the lengths, parched and torrid Majorcan summers live on the reserves of water and accumulated nutrients in their underground thickness rizoma. In these extreme conditions their vine shoots surpass meters of length both and they extend of radial form, covering the plant several squared meters with land. From May to September every dawn when already clarea but it has still not left the sun the farmers they gather capers one to one, at the most small better, because they quote to better prices. They are collected at daybreak by several reasons: on the one hand to avoid the sun and the torrid heat and on the other hand because with the fresh temperatures of the first hours of the day the petiole of the capers is more turgescent and fragile and with a simple movement of torsion of the fingers it is broken with facility. The photo is done in the field of the municipality of LLubí in August.

Although it seeds them to the man in the ground, is not this one the form to grow favorite of the caper bushes. To them they like the walls and the vertical buildings to total sun and with very little earth, since in wild state they are plants rupicolouses. In the photo we see several caper bushes born from some seed defecated by a bird that ate a caper on the walls that surround the cathedral by Palma de Mallorca next to the Mediterranean Sea. They seem long hairs.

Gorgeous image from the Guadalquivir River to its passage by the city of Cordova. In the wall of the slope that watches towards the south several caper bushes covered with white flowers grow. The photo is done in the middle of May.

 Leafy Capparis spinosa growing on the wall of the pit that surrounds to the Castle of Bellver in Palma de Mallorca.

Front of same previous caper bush.

Watchtower of Sa Torre Picada located on a cliff in the coast the northwest of Majorca. Between their stones numerous wild caper bushes grow. Its distribution on the tower is very peculiar. The majority of caper bushes is located in the east face and a few in west face, whereas in the South face and the North face no grows. The photo was taken at noon. The sun illuminated the South face.

Same seen previous caper bushes from more close. They are taken root in the chalky cement that unites stones. The humidity that receives during the year is very little. These caper bushes come from seeds of the wild plants that grow between rocks of a vertiginous cliff that there is next to the tower.

This beautiful image of the bronze statue from the Balearic slinger of S´Hort del Rei of Palma de Mallorca allows to see the vigorous caper bush that grows on the arc of the wall that it has behind. I recommend to enlarge the photo with a double click to see better the details.

Although the great majority of caper bushes has the vine shoots protected by you stipulate ligneous and sharpened in the form of frightful thorns, spinosa Capparis subsp. spinosa, is not either rare to find some caper bush without thorns, spinosa Capparis subsp. rupestris or inermis. 35 years ago it was happened to me to seed the seeds of capers that I took of an old wild plant that grow on rocks surrounded by acebuches and lentiscos. All germinated almost very easily and the plants that arose from them had extraordinary a fenotípica variability. They had thorns, others were inermes, others had the extended leaves, cleared others, had tendency to grow of ascending form with heavy and short vine shoots like small about 60 shrubs of height, whereas others grew of pendular form with long vine shoots in the form of hair. Still three live on them. Their differences are so showy that nobody would say that they come from the same mother.

One of the caper bushes that I seeded of seed 35 years ago. It has lengths crawling vine shoots of more than 2 meters in length with thicknesses thorny stipules. Its leaves are ovate and barely coriaceous

  Thorny stipules of about 5 millimeters of the previous caper bush. They are hard and sharp.

Another sister of the previous caper bush with short thick branches growing upward slightly as a small shrub. Its leaves are rounded and coriaceous. It is unarmed with tiny soft stipules.

Very small stipules of previous caper bush with a consistency like a hair thin and about 2 millimeters in length. Passing hand they bend and do not puncture.

 The caper bush is original of the Mediterranean where it has been cultivated profusely from the antiquity. In all the countries of the Mediterranean basin it is very valued and with it delicious sauces and magnificent plates are elaborated. Its success between the humans has been so great that at present it is cultivated in all the Earth regions with a similar climate to the Mediterranean. In Australia and South America it has been feral without getting to behave like a plague and in countries that did not know it and they had consumed never it is being cultivated more and more, partly through chefs of kitchen soon discovers that it in their trips by the Mediterranean and they incorporate it to their new plates for the rejoicing of the companions at table from its restaurants to which one feels like to them delicious.

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