From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Myristica fragrans - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-097.jpg
Myristica fragrans
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Magnoliids
Order: Magnoliales
Family: Myristicaceae
Genus: Myristica

>150; see text

  • Aruana Burm.f.
  • Comacum Adans.
  • Palala Rumph. ex Kuntze
  • Sebophora Neck.

Myristica is a genus of trees in the family Myristicaceae. There are over 150 species, distributed in Asia and the western Pacific.[2]

The type species of the genus, and the most economically important member, is Myristica fragrans (the nutmeg tree), from which mace is also derived.


The name Myristica is from the Greek adjective myristikos, meaning ‘fragrant, for anointing’, referring to its early use.[3] The adjective is from the noun myron (‘perfume, ointment, anointing oil’).[4]


All or nearly all species are dioecious. Knuth (1904) however cites a report of trees being male in their sex expression when young and female later. [5] Perianth of one whorl of three largely united segments. Stamens two to thirty, partly or wholly united. The ovary is superior, consisting of a single uniovulate carpel.[6] Species in this genus use secondary pollen presentation (pollen presentation in the flower which does not use an anther), the type of which is Pollenhaufen (German for ‘pollen-heap’), where pollen is in an exposed heap at the base of the flower.

Selected species[edit]

There are 171 accepted Myristica species as of April 2021 according to Plants of the World Online.[1] Selected species include:

Some species of Myristica have been reclassified into the genus Virola by some botanical authorities. Taxa that have been reassigned, or otherwise removed from the genus include:


  1. ^ a b "Myristica Gronov". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  2. ^ Myristica. Flora of China.
  3. ^ Washburn, Homer Charles; Blome, Walter Henry (1936). A Text-book on Pharmacognosy. Edward Letter. p. 77. Myristica, from the Greek "myristikos," of or pertaining to ointments, so named because of its early use as a flavoring for this type of preparations.
  4. ^ Quattrocchi, Umberto (2016). CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants. CRC Press. p. 2596. ISBN 978-1-4822-5064-0. Myristica[...] From the Greek myristikos 'fragrant, fit for anointing', myron 'a perfume, ointment, scent, sweet smelling, sweet oil', myrizo, myrizein 'to rub with ointment'
  5. ^ KNUTH, P., 1904, 1905: Handbuch der Bliitenbiologie 3(1 & 2), (ed. O. ApPEL & E. LOEw) [not translated]. - Leipzig: Engelmann.
  6. ^ Secondary Pollen Presentation. page 7. Peter Yeo 1993