Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, Syzygium aromaticum. They are native to the Maluku Islands in Indonesia, and are commonly used as a spice. It is commercially harvested primarily in Indonesia, India, Madagascar, Zanzibar, Pakistan & Sri Lanka. Cloves are widely used in the cuisine of Asian, African, and the Near and Middle East, lending flavour to meats, curries, and marinades, as well as complement to fruit such as apples, pears, or rhubarb.
Cloves grows best in rich loamy soils in the wet tropics. It can also grow in heavier red soils and it needs good drainage. The plant would require partial sun shade and even rainfall to help it grow. It grows best in tropical conditions, such as in those regions surrounding the Indian Ocean.The clove tree takes a long time to grow as the plant only produces clove buds after 20 years of growth. After twenty years of growth, the clove tree begins to produce flowering buds. Once flowering begins, cloves can be collected during both the spring and winter of tropical regions for at least several decades. Cloves are propagated by seeds or by cuttings. The seeds can be directly planted, or soaked in water overnight to remove the outer lining.
Harvesting of the clove are done when the flowers turn from green to purple. The ripened flower buds are collected and sun dried in tropical regions. After the flowering process the buds from the stalks are remove and to dry in the warm sun for 4-6 days. The stems and buds of the cloves are dried separately, and the stems may be used for oil distillation.