Clove (Eugenia caryophyllata)


Botanical Information

Cloves (Eugenia caryophyllata also known as: Syzygium aromaticum, Eugenia
) are the dried flower buds of a tree in the Myrtaceae family.
Cloves are native to India as well as Indonesia and are used as a spice
in cuisine around all parts of the world. The English name derives from
Latin clavus 'nail' because the buds resemble small irregular nails in shape.(3)


Plantae-- Plants
Tracheobionta-- Vascular plants
Spermatophyta-- Seed plants
Magnoliophyta-- Flowering plants
Magnoliopsida-- Dicotyledons
Myrtaceae Myrtle Family
Syzygium P. Br. ex Clove . – syzygium
Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & L.M. Perry – clove

Source: [[|

Worldwide Distribution Map ---- external image 2005clove.PNG

History, Trade, and Use

As early as 200 BC, envoys from Java to the Han-dynasty court of China brought
cloves that were customarily used to freshen the breath during meetings with the
emperor. In the late Middle Ages, cloves were used in Europe to preserve, flavor,
as well as garnish food. The cultivation of this spice has been primarily exclusive to
Indonesia, and in the early 17th century the Dutch eliminated the plant on all islands
except Amboina and Ternate in order to “create scarcity and sustain high prices.” This
was the plan instituted by the Dutch government to control their monopoly of the valuable
spice. They went on to destroy any clove tree that grew on any other island in the Moluccas.
It is estimated that close to 60,000 native islanders were killed during the destruction
of clove plantations. (Insert Book) However, in 1770 the French were able to steal some
clove seeds and cultivate the plant in French colonies. (Insert Book) Today, the popular spice
is used to compliment other commodities such as cigarettes, desserts, beverages, meats,
pickling, sauces, and gravies. The extracted clove oil has been used in medicines, disinfectants,
mouthwash, toothpaste, soaps, and perfumes. (Insert book)

Myrtaceae Family

The Myrtaceae is a family of at least 133 genera and .3800 species. It has centers of diversity
in Australia, southeast Asia, and tropical to southern temperate America, but has little to no
representation in Africa. The family is distinguished by a combination of the following features:
entire leaves containing oil glands, ovary half inferior to inferior, stamens usually numerous,
internal phloem, and vestured pits on the xylem vessels. Until relatively recently, the family
has been considered to be naturally divisible into two subfamilies, the fleshy-fruited Myrtoideae
and the capsular-fruited Leptospermoideae. (4)
The Myrtaceae is commonly subdivided into two subfamilies, the Leptospermoideae, which
is distributed mostly in Asia and Africa, and the Myrtoideae, found in tropical America, Asia,
Australia, and the Pacific. The myrtle family is best known from Australia. Many species in
the genera Eucalyptus, Calliostemon, and Verticordia, among others, are found in Australia.
However, many genera such as Psidium are present in the Americas, and Myrtus of the
Mediterranean and Northern Africa. The genus Eucalyptus is probably the best known
representative of the Myrtaceae.(5)

Habit and leaf form
Trees and shrubs
Evergreen (nearly always), or deciduous (e.g. some Eucalyptus species)
Leaf anatomy
Mucilaginous epidermis present, or absent. Stomata mainly confined to one surface, or on both surfaces (commonly, in edgewise-orientated leaves); anomocytic (usually), or paracytic.
Stem anatomy
Cork cambium present; initially deep-seated, or superficial. Nodes ‘typically’ unilacunar. Primary vascular tissue commonly bicollateral.
Reproductive type, pollination
Plants hermaphrodite (usually), or polygamomonoecious, or androdioecious (rarely). Pollination entomophilous, or ornithophilous

Germination phanerocotylar, or cryptocotylar.
Cymes, in spikes, in corymbs, and in panicles, or in heads


2. Levetin, Estelle, and Karen McMahon. Plants and Society. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, 2007. Print.