Yellow (sometimes slightly red) colored fruit containing seeds that are the nutmeg of commerce. The bright, scarlet colored aril which surrounds the seed is known as mace and is also a prominent spice.
Medium to large sized tree, up to 70ft tall.
Very tropical, hardy for short periods to 40-45F, but prefers constant temperatures above 55F.
Nutmeg trees thrive in very warm, humid climates. They need year-round water, but don't like flooding. There are both male and female type trees, both are required for pollination and fruit set. The ripe fruits often crack open while still on the tree, revealing the beautiful aril inside. Seeds are dried for about two months, upon which the shell is cracked, revealing the fragrant interior.
By seeds. Seedling grown trees usually bear in 7-9 years.
The dried nuts are arils are used as spices. There are a variety of medicinal uses.
Native to 2 of the 7 Banda Islands, part of the Moluccas group, (islands of Eastern Indonesia, once known as the Spice Islands.)