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Cloves, Clove Tree, Clavos

Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & Perry

syn. Eugenia caryophyllus (Spreng.) Bullock & Harrison.

syn. E. aromatica (L.) Baill.

syn. Jambosa Caryophyllus (Spreng. Niedenzu)

Myrtaceae

Source: Magness et al. 1971

The clove tree is a small, tropical evergreen, up to 20 feet tall, with oblong leaves, 5 to 10 inches long and 2 to 4 inches wide. It is native in the Philippines and nearby islands, but has been introduced into all tropical countries. Zanzibar and Pemba are the principal producers of cloves and clove oil. The tree is not hardy in continental U.S. The cloves of commerce are the dried flower buds, which grow in clusters at the ends of branches and are harvested and dried before they open. Cloves are widely used in cookery and confections. The extracted clove oil is widely used in cosmetics and confections. By oxidation, it produces vanillin.


(pictures: Ben Alkire)
Last update June 24, 1997 by aw