Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
It is a small much branched tree or shrub of arid regions in Africa, Middle East and southern Asia, including the Thar desert. It bears a mass of slender, leafless branches, the small caducous leaves being found only on young shoots. It rarely exceeds a height of 5 meters (15 feet).
The new flush of leaves appears in November–January. Red conspicuous flowers appear in March to April and August–September and ripe by May and October. The pink fleshy berries are readily eaten by birds. It coppices well and produces root suckers freely. It is extremely drought-resistant and tolerates some frost.
This is a useful plant in its marginal habitat. Its spicy fruits are used for preparing vegetables, curry and fine pickles and can attract helpful insectivores; the plant also is used in folk medicine and herbalism. Capparis decidua can be used in landscape gardening, afforestation and reforestation in semidesert and desert areas; it provides assistance against soil erosion.
Karir tree in Mahabharata
- शमी पीलु करीराणां वनेषु सुखवर्त्मसु (śamī pīlu karīrāṇāṃ vaneṣu sukhavartmasu)
- अपूपान सक्तु पिण्डीश च खाथन्तॊ मदितान्विताः (apūpān saktu piṇḍīś ca khādanto mathitānvitāḥ)
- Meaning - "When shall I be amongst those ladies eating cakes of flour and meat and balls of pounded barley mixed with skimmed milk, in the forests, having many pleasant paths of Sami and Pilu and Karira!" (VIII.30.24)
- Burdak, L.R. (1982). Recent Advances in Desert Afforestation- Dissertation submitted to Shri R.N. Kaul, Director, Forestry Research, F.R.I., Dehra Dun. p.55
- Kaul (1963), Ghosh (1977)
Gallery of images
- Kaul, R.N. (1963): Need for afforestation in the arid zones of India. LA-YAARAN 13.
- Ghosh, R.C. (1977): Handbook on afforestation techniques. Dehra Dun.
- Gupta, R.K. & Prakasah, Ishwar (1975): Environmental analysis of the Thar Desert. Dehra Dun.