COMMON NAMES: ALLSPICE
TYPE: Tropical tree
LOCATION: Hot, dry sites in full sun or in pots.
PLANTING: Seed in the spring or transplants anytime.
HEIGHT: Up to 30 feet
SPREAD: 20 feet
FINAL SPACING: One is enough.
BLOOM/FRUIT: Greenish-white flowers followed by berries similar to black pepper. It is dioecious so male and female plants must be present for fruit to develop.
GROWTH HABITS/CULTURE: Small tropical tree native to south America and W. Indies. It is evergreen and has aromatic bark, leaves, berries, and bunches of flowers. Glossy foliage.
PROBLEMS: It will freeze in the winter except in tropical areas or with careful protection.
HARVEST/STORAGE: Berries are gathered when mature but still green and dried for use.
CULINARY USES: Allspice is used to flavor food, especially to sweeten dishes with its peppery taste.
MEDICINAL USES: It is used as a warming medicine given as a tea for chills and flatulence.
LANDSCAPE USES: Greenhouse or container plant.
OTHER USES: Berries are eaten as a breath sweetener. Leaves and berries are used to make oil for cosmetics.
INSIGHT: Seeds are now available from specialty seed companies. Dried allspice seed in the grocery store has probably been heat-treated and will not be viable. Can only be grown in pots in the summer anywhere, in tropical regions and in greenhouses.