January 16, 2021

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Nature / Native Nutmeg

1 min read
Myristica insipida is our native nutmeg, an important food source for the Torresian imperial pigeon.

ANDRE LEU


Myristica insipida is our native nutmeg. It is an important food source for the Torresian imperial pigeon (Ducula spilorrhoa), also known as the nutmeg pigeon, our largest pigeon. It is found from the Maluku Islands- the fabled Indonesian Spice Islands, through New Guinea and across Northern Australia.

Like its commercial nutmeg cousin, Myristica fragrans that originally came from the Maluku Islands, Myristica insipida also produces nutmeg and mace – which comes from the web-like covering over the seed – see photo above.

Although ‘insipida’ means flavourless in Latin, this is not correct as it does have its own flavour.

This widespread, easy-to-grow attractive tree species attracts many birds including our largest pigeon. It has male and female trees that are pollinated by beetles. It should be grown more widely in our parks and gardens.


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