Hedonisia Hawaii Eco-Community Green Vacation Rentals

Hedonisia Hawaii Botanical Plant Inventory

Clove Tree

1) General Information:clove tree agriculture tourism

  • Location on property: Garden CJungle Cottage
  • Scientific Name: Syzygium aromaticum
  • Region of Origin: Indonesia
  • Type: Edible
  • General History: The clove tree is an evergreen tree that grows up to 8–12 m tall, with large leaves and sanguine flowers grouped in terminal clusters. The flower buds initially have a pale hue. It gradually turns green, then transitions to a bright red when ready for harvest. Cloves are harvested at 1.5–2.0 cm long, and consist of a long calyx that terminates in four spreading sepals, and four unopened petals that form a small central ball.
  • Archeologists have found cloves in a ceramic vessel in Syria, with evidence that dates the find to within a few years of 1721 BCE. In the third century BCE, a Chinese leader in the Han Dynasty required those who addressed him to chew cloves to freshen their breath. Cloves were traded by Muslim sailors and merchants during the Middle Ages in the profitable Indian Ocean trade. The clove trade is also mentioned by Ibn Battuta and even famous Arabian Nights characters such as Sinbad the Sailor are known to have bought and sold cloves from India.
  • Until modern times, cloves grew only on a few islands in the Maluku Islands (historically called the Spice Islands), including Bacan, Makian, Moti, Ternate, and Tidore. In fact, the clove tree that experts believe is the oldest in the world, named Afo, is on Ternate. The tree is between 350 and 400 years old. Tourists are told that seedlings from this very tree were stolen by a Frenchman named Poivre in 1770, transferred to France, and then later to Zanzibar, which was once the world’s largest producer of cloves.
  • Until cloves were grown outside of the Maluku Islands, they were traded like oil, with an enforced limit on exportation. As the Dutch East India Company consolidated its control of the spice trade in the 17th century, they sought to gain a monopoly in cloves as they had in nutmeg. However, “unlike nutmeg and mace, which were limited to the minute Bandas, clove trees grew all over the Moluccas, and the trade in cloves was way beyond the limited policing powers of the corporation.”
  • Jewish people smell cloves in the service that closes the Sabbath (Havdalah). Clove oil reportedly imparts spiritual uplifting, warming and stimulation benefits. In the Middle Ages, people studded oranges with cloves as a protection against plague. They believed that this would ward off bad luck.

2) Plant Uses:

  • As Food: Cloves are used in the cuisine of Asian, African, and the Near and Middle East countries, lending flavor to meats, curries, and marinades, as well as fruit such as apples, pears or rhubarb. Cloves may be used to give aromatic and flavor qualities to hot beverages, often combined with other ingredients such as lemon and sugar. They are a common element in spice blends such as pumpkin pie spice and speculoos spices. In Mexican cuisine, cloves are best known as clavos de olor, and often accompany cumin and cinnamon.
  • As Medicine or Other Uses:
  • The spice is used in a type of cigarette called kretek in Indonesia. They have been smoked throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States. In 2009, clove cigarettes (as well as fruit- and candy-flavored cigarettes) were outlawed in the US. Cigarettes containing clove are now classified as cigars when sold in the US.
  • Due to the bioactive chemicals of clove, the spice may be used as an ant repellent.
  • They can be used to make a fragrance pomander when combined with an orange. When given as a gift in Victorian England, such a pomander indicated “warmth of feeling.”
  • Cloves are used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese medicine, and western herbalism. The essential oil is also used in dentistry as an anodyne (painkiller) for dental emergencies. Cloves are used as a carminative, to increase hydrochloric acid in the stomach and to improve peristalsis. Cloves are also said to be a natural anthelmintic. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy when stimulation and warming are needed, especially for digestive problems. Topical application over the stomach or abdomen is said to warm the digestive tract. Applied to a cavity in a decayed tooth, it also relieves toothache.
  • In Chinese medicine, cloves or ding xiang are considered acrid, warm, and aromatic, entering the kidney, spleen and stomach meridians. They are notable in their ability to warm the middle, direct stomach qi downward, to treat hiccup and to fortify the kidney yang. Because the herb is so warming, it is contraindicated in any persons with fire symptoms. According to classical sources, it should not be used for anything except cold from yang deficiency. As such, it is used in formulas for impotence or clear vaginal discharge from yang deficiency, for morning sickness together with ginseng and patchouli, or for vomiting and diarrhea due to spleen and stomach coldness.
  • Cloves may be used internally as a tea and topically as an oil for hypotonic muscles, including for multiple sclerosis.  This is also found in Tibetan medicine. Some recommend avoiding more than occasional use of cloves internally. In the presence of pitta inflammation, such is found in acute flares of autoimmune diseases.
  • Clove oil can be used to anesthetize fish, and prolonged exposure to higher doses (the recommended dose is 400 mg/l) is considered a humane means of euthanasia.
  • In addition, clove oil is used in the preparation of some kinds of toothpaste and Clovacaine solution, which is a local anesthetic used in oral ulceration and inflammation. Eugenol (or clove oil generally) is mixed with zinc oxide to form a temporary tooth cavity filling
  • Essential oil: Clove oil is extracted by water distillation and mixes well with cinnamon, cedar, lavender, rose and bergamot. Essential oil content in good quality cloves may exceed 15%. The oil is dominated by eugenol (70-85%), eugenol acetate (15%) and beta-caryophyllene (5-12%). Cloves contain about 2% of the triterpene oleanolic acid.
  • Poison: Clove oil is very potent and can cause gum irritation. It is advisable to dilute it with equal amounts of vegetable oil. For infants, even milder dilution is required. Use should be avoided during pregnancy, or if with sensitive skin. Medicine: Taken internally (tea) for stomach upsets, chills, and impotence. Flower buds chewed to freshen breath or ease toothache pain. Also applied externally (essential oil) for toothache, headache, cold, arthritis, and rheumatism. Two little-known compounds in clove oil have shown “strong activity” against bacteria associated with plaque formation and gum disease. The oil is also useful for ulcers, bruises, burns, bronchitis, asthma, minor infections, and colic. Sometimes used to ease nausea.
  • Shade or shelter: This multi-stemmed tree offers cool shade.
  • Intercropping: Clove can be interplanted in coconut farm, as many as 120 clove plants can be accommodated in 1 ha of coconut garden.
  • Ornamental: This is a beautiful tree suitable for gardens.

3) Growing Instructions

  • General:  The clove tree is monoecious, flowers are hermaphrodite and self-pollinating. The tree matures between 8-10 years after planting. Fruits mature approximately 9 months after flower initiation and are considered physiologically mature when the exocarp turns reddish-purple in color.
  • Flowering varies between areas, in India flowering is from February-May, in Zanzibar (Tanzania) July-September and October-January. Fruiting normally occurs 5-6 months after flowering.
  • A tropical evergreen that grows 20 to 100 feet tall, with glossy 5- to 10-inch leaves. The clove tree (Syzygium aromaticum) only blooms dependably where temperatures seldom drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It should thrive in humid parts of Puerto Rico and Hawaii, in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 11 and 12.
  • Water your clove tree often enough so it gets at least 3 inches of water per month. It will do best with 5 to 8 inches per month.
  • Difficulties with this plant: /
  • History of this Plant at Hedonisia: /