Main site sections:
Plants section links:

Location

  • San Diego Zoo and Safari Park

Gardens

Plants: Species

Allspice Pimenta dioica

FAMILY: MYRTACEAE (Myrtle Family)

Many a family celebrates the holidays with a pot of wassail or spiced cider steaming on the stove all afternoon to scent the home with the delicious smell of allspice and provide a welcome brew to warm cold throats. So it comes as a surprise to find that the cold-weather spice actually hails from Central America and the Caribbean.

So-named because it smells like a combination of cinnamon, cloves, pepper, and other spices, allspice Pimenta dioica has long been used for cooking and medicinal purposes throughout the world. It is also used as a fragrance in perfumes and soaps.