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Pimenta dioica

Pronunciation: Pih-men-tuh dy-oh-ee-kuh
Family: Myrtaceae (myrtle family)
Common Name: Allspice, pimento, jamaica pepper
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 40'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • early spring
Bloom Description: The white flowers are about a 0. 25 in (0. 6 cm) across and borne in many flowered pyramidal cymes originating from the leaf axils. The fruit is a brown berrylike drupe, about a 0. 25 in (0. 6 cm) long. The leaves and fruit smell like a combination of cloves, black pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon, hence the common name.
Plant Perks:
  • Fragrant
  • Drought Tolerant
Propagation: By seed.
Native to: West indies, southern mexico and central america. It was "discovered" in mexico by 16th century spanish explorers who called it "pimienta", confusing it with black pepper. (those traveling spaniards were so intent on finding a new source of black pepper, that they also confused the new world chilis with that precious east indian spice. ) nowadays allspice is grown commercially in mexico, honduras, trinidad, cuba, and especially in jamaica, which practically has a monopoly. It is the only spice whose commercial production is entirely confined to the new world.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - this is a slow growing, beautiful little tree and well worth growing in a container on a patio or, in tropical climates, in a shrub border. It may not flower and fruit outside its native range, but the big glossy aromatic leaves are an attraction. Allspice is used in pickles, ketchup and marinades, and to flavor pumpkin pies, cakes and candies. An oil pressed from the fruits is used in perfumes and cosmetics. The liqueurs, benedictine and chartreuse, contain allspice flavoring. Northern europeans use allspice in sausages and pickled fish. The principal essential oil in allspice is eugenol, the same as found in cloves. Eugenol is used as an anesthetic for tooth aches and as a digestive aid
Located in: Seed Photos
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