Did You Know…?

Allspice

Pimenta dioica.

We have several of these trees at different places along the Rainbow Walk. Two specimens are planted (one on each side of the walkway) about 50 feet in from the beginning of the walkway. They bear shiny, elliptical, 5 to 6 inch long, dark green leaves that exude a strong, pleasant odor of cloves mixed with overtones of other spices when crushed.

The Allspice tree’s smooth trunk is attractively colored with irregular patterns of beige and tan. The spice is obtained from the small purple berries produced by the trees during the early summer months from clusters (cymes) of tiny greenish-white flowers that bloom during April. The mature green berries are dried and then ground up, much like black pepper seed is. Later on the Rainbow Walk, there is a larger specimen of Allspice, from which you may pick a leaf to crush and smell. Very nice!

This tree is in full sun, and is often seen flowering and/or fruiting during the spring and summer. The ground beneath that tree is covered with small seedling numerous keiki (the Hawaiian word for children; here equating to seedlings) can be seen beneath the tree. Allspice plants that sprout from fallen ripe fruit.

 

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