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Syzygium aromaticum


Syzygium aromaticum

Family Name: Myrtaceae
Synonyms: Acca caryophyllus, Eugenia aromatica
Common Name: Clove, Cengkih, Chengkeh, Chingkeh, 丁香


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Growth Form Tree (Small (6m-15m))
Maximum Height 8 m to 20 m


Native Distribution Moluccas

Description and Ethnobotany

Foliage Leaves are simple, arranged oppositely. They have a leathery and shiny texture on the upper (adaxial) surface, and are aromatic when crushed. New leaves are bright pink in colour and turn light green and glossy. Each leaf is around 10cm long and 5cm wide, elliptic or oblong, very narrowly attenuated at the base, and point upwards. The undersides of the leaves have black spots.
Flowers Flowers occur in terminal clusters. Unopened flower buds are green first, then slowly change to pink or red or crimson, then finally bright red when in full bloom. Each flower is about 6mm wide. Flowering occurs when the tree reaches 5 to 7 years.
Fruit Fruits are dark purple, oblong, about 2-2.5cm long and 1.3cm wide. They contain a single seed.
Others - Plant Morphology The Clove tree is a slow growing, evergreen tree that ranges greatly in maximum height, from a relatively small, shrubby treelet at 8m to a medium sized tree of up to 20m. It has a dense conical crown when young, but becomes cylindrical or pyramidal when mature.Propagation:Propagated from softwood cuttings and seeds. Fresh seeds should be sown immediately as viability rapidly declines. Seed germination occurs in 4 to 5 weeks and seedlings can be tranplanted when they reach 25cm in height.Ethnobotanical Use (Food) :The dried flower buds are the "cloves" that have found their way into numerous cuisines around the world. Powdered cloves are used in pickles, sweets, cakes and mixed with other culinary spices like five-spice powder, Indian curry powder etc. Ethnobotanical Use (Medicinal) :The oil extracted from cloves comprises primarily of eugenol, which is known to have pain relieving properties. Biting or chewing a clove bud is a traditional remedy for toothaches. Clove tea can be taken for curing stomach ailments. Essential oil produced from cloves can be applied externally for toothaches, headaches, colds and rheumatism. Ethnobotanical Use (Others) :Cloves can be used to deodorize household items like linens, clothes and furnishings. Clove bud oil can be used in many applications, including as a toothpaste ingredient, a natural fungicide or germicide. Clove leaf oil, which is has a milder fragrance than clove bud oil, is used as a germicide and in perfumes. In Indonesia, cigarettes known as "kretek", are aromatized with cloves.
Cultivation Prefers full sun but can be grwon in partial shade. Requires plenty of water and soil should remain consistently moist. Soil medium should be deep, fertile and well-drained. Waterlogging may cause cessation of flowering.
Ethnobotanical Uses Food (Herb or Spice)

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Fragrant (Flowers, Foliage) (Day)
Landscape Uses Suitable for Roadsides

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Lots of Water
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Image Repository



Master ID 1861
Species ID 3154
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2021.