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Plants: Species

Allspice Pimenta dioica


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.