We ceased not to buy and sell at the several islands till we came to the land of Hind, where we bought cloves and ginger and all manner spices. And thence we fared on to the land of Sind, where also we bought and sold.
--The Arabian Nights, trans. Richard Burton

And Niccolo, who the luxurious use Of cloves discovered earliest of all Within that garden where such seed takes root...
Dante's Divine Comedy

No, feare not that. I doubt, we shall not get Some English saffron (halfe a dram would serue) Your sixteene Cloves, a little Muske, dri'd Mintes, Buglosse, and barley-meale --
--Ben Jonson's Volpone

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(Eugenia caryophyllata)

Originally from the "Spice Islands" of Southeast Asia, these dried, unopened buds of a Moluccan evergreen tree were traded into Europe even in Roman times. Beginning in the 18th century, plantations were established in Zanzibar, Madagascar, where they are produced to this day. Interestingly, they only flourish by the sea. When the buds are picked, they are pink. When dried, they carry the essential oil of eugenol, a powerful antiseptic with preservative action.