Myristica fragrans

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Myristica fragrans

Description

Tree 4-10 m. Leaves charta-ceous or thinly coriaceous, (ovate-)elliptic to oblong, 6-13 by 3.5-6.5 cm, base attenuate, apex acute-acuminate; Inflorescences and flowers with widely spaced, appressed, pale brown hairs, 0.1 mm or less, partly glabrescent. Inflorescences between the leaves, axillary or sometimes a few mm supra-axillary, essentially paniculate; Fruits solitary, pendent, broadly pear-shaped or almost globose, 4-6 cm long (6-9 cm diameter when fresh), early glabrescent, hairs widely spaced, dull brown, 0.1 mm;

Distribution

Asia-Tropical: Maluku (Maluku present), Banda present, tropics all over the world present
Malesia: Banda Islands; widely cultivated in the Moluccas, and in many suitable localities in the tropics all over the world; locally seemingly wild in abandoned or neglected plantations, or where intentionally planted in wild forest.

Supposedly all collections of M. fragrans, also those from the southern Moluccas (including those from Ambon and Banda), are from cultivated or running wild specimens. According to Rumphius (Herb. Amb. 2, 1741, 14, t. 4) the species was at the time already amply cultivated in Banda.

Taxonomy

2 Myristica fragrans is a homogeneous species, readily distinguishable from M. argentea and M. succedanea by its small, glabrous (early glabrescent) leaves with few nerves, in combination with its typical slender inflorescences. Rumphius (I.e.) distinguished five varieties. 1 Sinclair (1968) listed M.fragrans with M. argentea, M. succedanea, and M. impressinervia in his series Fragrantes (i.e., series Speciosae and Fragrans of Warburg, I.e.: 378). Indeed, the first two species seem related to M.fragrans, but M. impressinervia has far more remote affinities

Citation

Warb. 1897: Die Muskatnuss: 1-628
W. J. de Wilde 1990 – In: Blumea. p 244
Houtt 1897: Mon. Myrist. p 458
Flach & Tjeenk Willink 1989: Plant Resources of South-East Asia: A selection. p 192
Blume 1835: p. 180. – In: Rumphia. t. 55
J. Sinclair 1968: p. 361. – In: Gard. Bull. Sing. p 225
W. J. de Wilde 1997 – In: Blumea. p 166
J. Sinclair 1958: p. 361. – In: Gard. Bull. Sing. f. 29, pl. VII B