Anales del Jardín Botánico de Madrid, Vol 56, No 2 (1998)

The allspice [Pimenta dioica (L.) Merrill, Myrtaceae] in the Sierra Norte de Puebla (México)

Manuel Juan Macía Barco
Real Jardín Botánico, CSIC, Spain


Pimenta dioica, allspice, is a neotropical Myrtaceae distributed in Mesoamerica and the Caribbean region. Its área of distribution in México ranges along East and Southeast parts of the country. The main use of its dried fruits is as spice, being sold in Mexican nacional markets as well as exported to Germany, the United States, Jamaica and Great Britain. Most of the harvest comes from trees growing wild in tropical forests, although lately there is a trend to domesticate and cultivate the plant. This paper describes the propagation, domestication, harvesting, processing, marketing and socioeconomic importance of allspice in the Sierra Norte de Puebla (México). The fieldwork has been focused on Totonaca indigenous communities from this area. In these communities, allspice has medicinal use, and is used as a condiment for food; other technological and cultural uses have been also recorded. A historical monograph from Casimiro Gómez Ortega is reviewed. It includes information of the history, botany, cultivation and commerce of allspice.


Pimenta dioica; Myrtaceae; allspice; malagueta; ethnobotany; México

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Copyright (c) 1998 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

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