Cloves Fruits

Cloves Fruits
by Richard Ingram

The seedling produces a pronounced tap root which remains relatively short and is fairly quickly replaced by two or three primary sinkers which develop from it. During the first year, a mass of fibrous roots spread out from the tap root to a depth of about 25 cm and a radius of 36-50 cm.

During the second year, the primary sinkers descend a further 50 cm or so and several fibrous roots of the surface plate thicken to become the main horizontal laterals. These extend in subsequent years and may reach a radius of 10 m or so. They become greatly thickened, while a number of slender secondary sinkers develop from them to a depth of 7 m or so. The roots of neighbouring trees overlap and natural grafting may occur. The surface plate of roots extends to a radius of approximately the same distance as the height of the tree.

Tidbury (1949) states that it is not known whether the clove is normally cross- or self-fertilized. The flowers are visited by bees and it seems likely that cross-fertilization can and does occur. He considers it probable that the clove will produce self-fertilized seed, although no viable seed, definitely known to be self-fertilized, has yet been produced. He points out that authorities in the East Indies state that the clove is apparently almost entirely self-pollinated, but it is not known on what evidence this statement is made.

The four petals are imbricate, tinged red, rounded, about 6 mm in diameter, falling as a hemispherical calyptra, about 6 mm in diameter, as the flowers open, but they are not agglutinated and are easily separable.

The lamina is lanceolate or narrowly elliptic, sometimes narrowly obovate, 7-13 cm long, 3-6 cm wide, and pellucid- dotted with glands; the apex is shortly or broadly bluntly acuminate and the base is cuneate. The new leaves appear in flushes and are bright pink. Later the upper surface becomes glossy and dark green, and the lower surface dull and paler.

The anthers are pale yellow, ovate, opening longitudinally, with a small, pale brown, inconspicuous connective gland. The style is very stout, swollen at the base, pale green, gland-dotted, and about 3-4 mm long. The stamens fall soon after the flowers open. The two-celled, multi-ovulate, inferior ovary is embedded in the top of the hypanthium.

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