EUCALYPTUS CITRIODORA

EUCALYPTUS CITRIODORA

FAMILY :: MYRTACEAE
LEMON SCENTED EUCALYPTUS: If you have traveled in California or Australia, you know how spectacular looking eucalyptus trees are. This one is strongly lemon-scented as a bonus. Hardy down to around 24° f. and grows very well in a pot elsewhere. It is easily pruned to grow as a shrub. This tree grows easily in Puerto Vallarta and the rest of the tropics.

There is currently an effort in some locations by a groups calling themselves “Native Plant Societies” to eliminate all eucalyptus trees from the landscape because they are “invasive exotics.” While I applaud the efforts of this organization to educate people to the value of native plants, I have no respect for them at all in their corroboration with the chemical herbicide manufacturers in this eradication effort. If they are not simply a front for this lobbying group, then they are little better than a Ku Klux Klan of the botanic world. Their xenophobia and hypocrisy are astounding. If they are truly serious about not wanting any “invasive exotics,” my suggestion is that first they remove themselves from their land.

MYRTUS COMMUNIS

MYRTUS COMMUNIS

FAMILY :: MYRTACEAE
GREEK MYRTLE: A very beautiful and aromatic semi-tender shrub to 10′ tall with fragrant white ¾” flowers and small purple berries.

Sacred to the goddess Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. Once considered to be an aphrodisiac, now chiefly grown as an ornamental. (Natural aphrodisiacs must be out.)

Grow in a dry, warm calciferous soil in full sun. Native to the Mediterranean. The ground, dried berries are used as a pepper substitute and the fresh flowers are edible and may be added to salads. I don’t know what application this piece of information will have for you, but if oil of myrtle is ingested, within 15 minutes, your urine will smell as sweet as violets.

PIMENTA DIOICA

PIMENTA DIOICA

FAMILY :: MYRTACEAE
ALLSPICE, JAMAICA PEPPER, PIMENTO, PIMIENTA: Allspice is a small, subtropical dioecious tree native to the Caribbean, especially Jamaica where it was “discovered” by Christopher Columbus and mistakenly identified as pepper (Piper nigrum), hence the name Pimienta. The English called it “allspice” believing that it had a combined flavor of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

allspice pimento

This seeds of this spice are widely used. Boucan is an allspice-cured meat used by European sailors called Buccaneers. It is said that 18th century Russian soldiers put allspice in their boots as a deodorant. Middle Eastern cuisine relies heavily upon it in flavoring meat dishes. It is used in curries. Western cuisines use allspice in cakes and sweets.

MORE INFORMATION:
AllSpice