Cloves are a spice made from the flower buds of an evergreen tree called, appropriately enough, the clove tree. Clove flower buds are harvested in their immature state, and then dried. Cloves can be used whole or ground, and they have a very strong, pungent flavor and aroma. Whole cloves are shaped like a small, reddish brown spike, usually around one centimeter in length, with a bulbous top. Cloves are used to flavor sauces, soups and rice dishes, notably a number of traditional Indian dishes.