Syzygium aromaticum, commonly known as clove, is an evergreen tree native to Indonesia that grows to a height of 10-20 meters. The tree produces aromatic flower buds, which are harvested and dried to make the popular spice known as cloves. In addition to their culinary uses, cloves have also been used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments. The tree has been widely cultivated and is naturalized in some locations. It is listed among 16 species that are reported to be highly invasive in the Comoros archipelago, although specific impacts have not been described. In the Hawaiian Islands, it could spread if birds or other animals disperse its seeds. Contact with the leaves may also cause dermatitis in susceptible individuals.
High Risk Traits:
- Thrives and spreads in regions with tropical climates
- Introduced and naturalized in a number of tropical locations, but no evidence in the Hawaiian Islands to date.
- Reported to be invasive in Intermediate-altitude humid forest of the Comoros archipelago, presumably with negative environmental effects, but specific impacts have not been documented
- Other Syzygium species are invasive weeds
- Potentially allelopathic (extracts demonstrate inhibitory effects)
- Potentially toxic or allergenic to animals and susceptible people
- Potential host of tree pests and pathogens.
- Shade tolerant when young.
- Reproduces by seeds.
- Capable of self-pollination.
- Fleshy-fruited seeds dispersed by fruit eating animals, probably birds, and through intentional cultivation by people.
Low Risk Traits:
- Valued and cultivated as a spice plant, with almost no reports of negative impacts within its introduced range.
- Unarmed (no spines, thorns, or burrs)
- Foliage palatable to goats.
- Generally reaches maturity in 8-10 years.
- Relatively large seeds unlikely to be accidentally dispersed.
- Seeds have short viability, and are unlikely to form a seed bank.