Flinders rose or caper is a small, edible flower bud growing on the bush of capparis spinosa or caper bush. The shrub is native to Asia and the Mediterranean region. Caper bush belongs to the caper family which is closely related to the mustard family. If the unopened capers are not picked in time, they open up resulting in beautiful, pink-white flowers.
[Note: The Right Flowers is not a medical site. Knowledge of and information about the therapeutic benefits and applications of flowers, while known through the ages, does not constitute medical advice. If you are having health issues, you should consult with a physician.]
Flinders rose buds are normally picked as soon as they form. They are dried, salted and immersed in vinegar to give them a tasty flavor before they are eaten. The flower buds can be eaten raw or cooked and eaten as vegetables. When pickled, they have a peppery flavor with subtle floral notes.
Capers go well with oily meaty dishes, sauces, salads, and pasta. These flower buds are commonly used in Italian dishes such as chicken piccata or mixed with miso paste for use in other dishes.
Flinders roses have been cultivated from as far back as 2000 BC. Though these flower buds are popular vegetables, they are highly delicate and must be harvested by hand.
In traditional Chinese medicine, capers are known for their bitter qualities. The bitterness is thought to help in eliminating excess water from the body and improving circulation.
Good for your bones and hastens wound healing
Capers are high in sodium and a good source of copper and vitamin K. The vitamin is a critical component of the blood clotting in the system as it is necessary for the function of various proteins involved in the coagulation process. Blood clotting is critical in the event of injuries as it stanches bleeding and promotes healing of the wound. Since capers have very high sodium content, it’s wise to soak them for several minutes in water to get rid of excess salt and enhance their flavor.
Apart from supporting the coagulation process, vitamin K is critical for bone health. The vitamin is an important component in increasing compounds that help in maintaining calcium reserves as well as bone metabolism.
Help in regulating blood sugar
Capers are an ideal source of fiber which slows down the uptake of sugar in the body. This keeps the blood sugar levels stable and enhances glycemic control.
Apart from being a good source of fiber, flinders rose is known to contain certain compounds believed to have antidiabetic effects.
Initial studies have found that caper extracts are significantly effective in lowering blood glucose in diabetic people. Though not enough research has been carried out to authenticate these claims and identity these compounds, capers seem to hold a lot of potential in helping diabetic people cope with their problem.
Now, if you love eating flinders roses, you might as well try cultivating them in your yard. Occasionally you can allow a few buds to bloom for aesthetic effects.