-A flavouring agent
& local anesthetic for toothaches.
Small, reddish-brown flower bud of the
tropical evergreen tree Syzygium aromaticum (sometimes Eugenia caryophyllata)
of the family Myrtaceae, important in the earliest spice trade and
believed indigenous to the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, of Indonesia.
Strong of aroma and hot and pungent in
taste, cloves are used to flavour many foods, particularly meats
and bakery products.
Clove was first introduced to India around
1800 AD by the East India company in its 'spice garden' in Courtallam,
Tamil Nadu. Induced by the success of its introduction, cultivation
of clove was extended during the period after 1850 AD to Nilgiris
(Burliar), southern region of the erstwhile Travancore State and
the slopes of Western Ghats.
The important clove growing districts
in India now are Nilgiris, Tiruneiveli, Kanyakumari, Nagercoil and
Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu, Kozhikode, Kottayam. Kollam
and Thiruvananthapuram Districts of Kerala and South Kanara district
Cloves vary in length from about 1/2 to 3/4 inch (13 to 19 mm).
They contain 14 to 20 percent essential oil, the principal component
of which is the aromatic oil eugenol. Cloves are strongly pungent
owing to eugenol, which is extracted by distillation to yield oil
This oil is used to prepare microscopic
slides for viewing and is also a local anesthetic for toothaches.
Eugenol is used in germicides, perfumes,
and mouthwashes, in the synthesis of vanillin, and as a sweetener
Propagation & Planting
Clove is propagated through seed obtained from ripened fruit, known,
popularly as 'mother of clove'. Fruits are taken from trees with
more then 15 years of age and regular yielding nature. The ripened
seeds has to drop down naturally.
Such fruits are picked and sown directly
in the nursery. Otherwise fruits are soaked in water overnight and
the seeds obtained after removal of the pericarp are sown.
Seeds are good for better and early germination.
Only fully developed and uniform sized seeds which show signs of
germination by the presence of pink radicle are ideal for sowing.
Heaping the fruits for one or two days
or keeping them in airtight bags leads to the death of seeds.
The Clove trees begin to bear flowers
7-8 years after planting. Unopened flower buds are carefully picked
when they turn from green to pink.
The buds are then allowed to dry for 4-5 days till they become crisp
and dark brown in colour. Cloves are an essential ingredient of