The clove of commerce is the air-dried unopened flower bud obtained from evergreen medium sized tree. The tree grows to a height of 10-12 mtrs and start flowering in about 7 years. It continues to produce flower buds for 80 or more years. It is a valuable spice of the orient. Clove clusters are plucked by hand when the buds are fully developed with a pronounced pink flush and then dried over several days in the sun. Unopened flower buds, leaves and stalks yield essential oil.
Clove taste is imparted by the chemical eugenol. Clove is usually paired with vanilla, red wine, cinnamon, onion, citrus peel, peppercorns etc. This organic spice is also used as an anti-repellent.