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Weed Seed: Zygophyllum fabago (Syrian bean-caper)

Invasive Plant - Syrian bean-caper (Zygophyllum fabago)



Common name

Syrian bean-caper


Prohibited Noxious, Class 1 in the Canadian Weed Seeds Order, 2016 under the Seeds Act. All imported and domestic seed must be free of Prohibited Noxious weed seeds.

Listed on the List of Pests Regulated by Canada established under the Plant Protection Act.


Canadian: Absent from Canada (Brouillet et al. 2016Footnote 1).

Worldwide: Native to eastern Europe, the Middle East and central Asia. Introduced to Australia, southern Europe and the western United States (CFIA 2012Footnote 2, 2014Footnote 3).

Duration of life cycle


Seed or fruit type


Identification features



Surface texture


Habitat and crop association

Dry rangelands, grasslands and disturbed areas, including roadsides, corrals and gravel pits (CFIA 2014Footnote 3).

General information

Syrian bean-caper is thought to have been imported into the United States in contaminated alfalfa seed (Davison and Wargo 2001Footnote 4). This species usually spreads by seed, but can also generate new plants from pieces of its roots (CFIA 2014Footnote 3).

Syrian bean-caper prefers dry habitats, especially rangelands, where it out-competes native species (Davison and Wargo 2001Footnote 4).

Similar species

No similar species


Syrian bean-caper (Zygophyllum fabago) seeds
Syrian bean-caper (Zygophyllum fabago) seed
Syrian bean-caper (Zygophyllum fabago) seed, side view
Syrian bean-caper (Zygophyllum fabago) seed, close up of surface
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