Canarian Bean Caper


Tetraena fontanesii – Sea Grape

Tetraena fontanesii (Sea Grape) is a an odd-appearing, bushy or cushion-like plant up to 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter with spreading woody…

Syrian bean-caper is regulated as a pest in Canada under the Plant Protection Act. It is also listed as a prohibited noxious weed on the Weed Seeds Order, 2016 under the Seeds Act. Importation and domestic movement of regulated plants and their propagative parts is prohibited.

  • Avoid planting invasive plants in your garden.
  • Use clean, high-quality seed that is certified if possible.
  • Ensure machinery, vehicles and tools are free of soil and plant parts before moving them from one area to another.
  • Contact your local Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) office if you suspect you have found this invasive plant. The CFIA will follow up and determine if further action is needed.

Syrian bean-caper flower
Jan de Laet ( Syrian bean-caper growing in a field
Jan de Laet ( Syrian bean-caper leaves and fruit
Jan de Laet ( Syrian bean-caper plant
California Department of Food and Agriculture Archive (

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. capers, coarsely chopped
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. green beans, trimmed
  1. Whisk together oil, capers, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl set aside. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil add beans and cook till tender, 3-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain beans and toss with vinaigrette adjust seasoning to taste and garnish with zest.

Washington State

Family: Zygophyllaceae

Weed class: A
Year Listed: 1989
Native to: Asia and Eastern Europe
Is this Weed Toxic?:

Legal listings:

This plant is also on the Washington State quarantine list. It is prohibited to transport, buy, sell, offer for sale, or distribute plants or plant parts of quarantined species into or within the state of Washington or to sell, offer for sale, or distribute seed packets of seed, flower seed blends, or wildflower mixes of quarantined species into or within the state of Washington. Please see WAC 16-752 for more information on the quarantine list. For questions about the quarantine list, contact the Washington State Department of Agriculture's Plant Services Program at (360) 902-1874 or email [email protected]

Why Is It a Noxious Weed?

Syrian bean-caper is a threat to agriculture and can form infestations that outcompete native plant species.

How would I identify it?

General Description

Syrian bean-caper is a succulent perennial, forming a compact multi-branched shrub that may reach three feet tall and spread three feet in diameter.

Flower Description

Flowers are single and are on short stalks. Each has five green sepals and five petals that are white to cream with salmon-colored markings. Ten orange stamens extend past the petals.

Leaf description

Leaves are opposite and composed of two leaflets. They are thick, leathery, fleshy and glabrous (smooth and hairless).

Stem description

Stems are branched, either growing along the ground or somewhat upright, and are hairless.

Fruit Seed Description

Seeds are in a 5-celled capsule that is oblong and hangs down on the plant.

Where does it grow?

Syrian bean-caper can be found in open, rocky areas and gravelly soils, including roadsides and disturbed areas. Please click here to see a county level distribution map of Syrian bean-caper in Washington.

How Does it Reproduce?

Syrian bean-caper reproduces by seed, rhizomes and root fragments.

How Do I Control It?

Mechanical Control

Small infestations of Syrian bean-caper can be hand pulled, making sure that the whole root is removed.

Herbicide Control

Herbicide control is difficult due to the leathery leaves. Please refer to the PNW Weed Management Handbook, or contact your county noxious weed coordinator.

Planting Instructions for Castor Beans

Growing castor beans is extremely easy. Castor bean seeds start readily indoors and will grow very rapidly.

Castor plants like full sun and humid conditions. Provide loamy, moist, but not soaking wet, soil for best results.

Soak seeds overnight to aid with germination. In warmer areas, or once the soil can be worked and the threat of frost has passed, castor bean seeds can be sown directly into the garden.

Due to its large size, allow enough room for this fast-growing plant to expand.

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