Cloves (Eugenia Aromatica) are native to Southeast Asia and were an important commodity in the spice trade.
Cloves are the dried bud of an evergreen tree.
The Latin name for Cloves, Clavus, means nail and this describes well what whole Cloves look like.
Whole Cloves are somewhat difficult to use in baking ground Cloves are much easier to use for confections.
Cloves go well with just about any other spice.
In some dishes; such as chicken soup and beef stew, Cloves should be used sparingly to provide an undertone.
In other dishes, like gingerbread, spice cake, mulled wine and marinades, the flavor of Clove can be allowed center stage.