Cloves are the immature unopened flower buds of an evergreen tropical tree. The buds are four-pointed with a tapered stem.
When fresh, they are pink. When dried, which is the usual way of using them, they turn to a rust-brown colour. Their flavour is sweetly pungent, astringent and strongly aromatic. This flavour works well with both sweet and savoury dishes.
It is highly valued in traditional medicine as a stimulant.