S. Fici et al. 1: 37
Plants shrubs or trees. Leaves usually alternate, rarely opposite, simple or digitately 2-7-foliate; stipules present, minute, often caducous, sometimes forming thorns. Inflorescences terminal or axillary racemes or corymbs or flowers solitary or otherwise clustered. Flowers usually bisexual, very rarely unisexual (and plants also unisexual), radially or bilaterally symmetric. Receptacles cup-shaped, funnel-shaped, or cylindric, sometimes very short; sepals 4-8, free or united; petals 4-16 or absent; stamens free, few to many, usually borne on an androgynophore; ovaries usually borne on a gynophore, sometimes sessile, 1-celled, with parietal placentation or with 2 or more cells; ovules few to many. Fruits indehiscent or only tardily dehiscent, berries or capsules; seeds usually reniform or angular, with or without scanty endosperm.
Since publication of the Flora of Somalia, the family has been reduced in size by separation of some genera into the Cleomaceae.There are about 16 genera and 480 species in the revised Capparacae. They grow primarily in the tropics or subtropics, mostly in arid regions. The two families are morphologically very similar, the primary differences appearing to be the woodiness of the Capparaceae and its almost always indehiscent fruits which are frequently berries rather than nuts. In summarizing the morphological characteristics of the revised interpretation of Capparaceae, Stevens (2021+) commented, "Capparaceae are woody, the inflorescence is racemose, the flowers have a long gynophore and often many stamens with long filaments, and the fruit is indehiscent."
Key to the genera still included in Capparaceae in Somaliland and Somalia.
©Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; reproduced with permission.
Key to genera of Somaliland and Somalia