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Report an Invasive Species

Syrian Bean-Caper

Syrian Bean-Caper

Syrian Bean-Caper

(Zygophyllum fabago)

Priority: -  Prevent

Tags: Agricultural | Terrestrial

Identification and Reproduction


  • Syrian bean-caper is a herbaceous plant that has a shrubby growth pattern, reaching up to 60 cm tall. 
  • Leaves are opposite and compound. Each leaf is composed of a pair of oval-shaped leaflets that make a distinct Y-shape. Leaves are succulent, smooth and thick. 

  • Flowers bloom from May to August. They are white, yellow or copper-orange in colour. Flowers are made up of 5 petals. 

  • Seedpods are long, oblong and contain 5 seeds. 


  • This plant reproduces from seed and spreads laterally from creeping roots. 

Habitat & Ecology

  • Large infestations normally takes over roadsides. 
  • It invades dry habitats such as rangeland and grasslands. 
  • It is also drought tolerant. 
  • It has yet to be observed in Canada, but is currently in several states in the US. 



  • This plant is unpalatable to livestock. 


  • It decreases native biodiversity by forming dense monocultural patches. 
  • Syrian bean-caper outcompetes native vegetation for water and space. 


Prevention is a high priority for this species. 

  • Learn to identify this plant and report any sightings to your local Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).  
  • Purchase and plant certified, clean seed mixtures. 
  • Be cautious of imported grass seed mixtures, be sure to check seed labels.
  • Clean clothing, pets, equipment and vehicles before leaving infested sites. 
  • Do not purchase, plant, or distribute this plant in seed or propagative form. 


For more details check out the CFIA's factsheet on Syrian bean-caper- Zygophyllum fabago here.

Header photo (Yuriy Kvach).