Pimenta dioica

(Click image to Enlarge)

Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

  • Botanical Name : Pimenta dioica (L.) Merr
  • The generic name is derived from the Spanish word pimienta, meaning "peppercorn" which refers to the berries.

  • Synonyms : Myrtus dioica L.
  • Common Name : Allspice, Jamaica Pepper, Pepper, Myrtle Pepper, Pimenta, Pimento, English Pepper or New Spice
  • Common Name Details :

    It is commonly called Allspice because of the fact that the leaves and fruit smell like a combination of cloves, black pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon.

  • Plant Family : Myrtaceae
  • Plant Form : Tree
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Indroda Park

About Pimenta dioica Plant :

  • Habit : An evergreen tree with whitish gray bark that peels in thin sheets.
  • Leaves : Pungent, aromatic, oblong or oblong-lanceolate, leathery with veins prominent on ventral side.
  • Inflorescence : Panicles
  • Flowers : Small, white in colour.
  • Fruit : Dark brown in colour.
  • Significance :
    • The green berries are picked and then dried.
    • The whole dried fruit is ground to produce the spice or condiment Allspice.
    • Both pulp and seeds are aromatic with a very high content of eugenol oil.
    • This oil is also extracted from the leaves and the bark of the tree.
    • Allspice is used in pickles, ketchup and marinades, in cooking meats, and vegetables and to flavor pumpkin pies, cakes and candies.