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Monodora myristica Calabash Nutmeg   Moringaceae
 

Calabash Nutmeg, Jamaica Nutmeg, Monodora myristica

 
Calabash Nutmeg, Jamaica Nutmeg, Monodora myristica

Monodora myristica
Family: Annonaceae
Calabash Nutmeg, Jamaica Nutmeg
Origin: West Africa
small tree 10-20 ft

This medium to large size tree has a lush crown. Huge, oblong leaves are particularly handsome. They emerge purple and turn deep green, with metallic green underneath. It is one of the most renowned tropical species for its fragrant blooms that are unsurpassed in beauty and originality. Like festive decorations, these curious flowers dangle on long, sturdy cords, which are actually modified twigs. They abort if flower is not fertilized, or thicken and become woody if it is. The flowers are havily waxy. Somewhat reminiscent of an orchid, the arching, yellowing calyx lobes are crysply frilled, margins edged and splotched with deep red, while the petals are paler with purplish red spots. Flowers evolve into large, woody syncarp fruit that is filled with aromatic pulp. The large, pungent seeds embedded within are used like nutmeg to flavor food, or are roasted, ground, and applied to heal wounds or to the forehead to relief headaches. Root is chewed to releive toothaches. Beetle polinated.

 

     
Calabash Nutmeg, Jamaica Nutmeg, Monodora myristica Calabash Nutmeg, Jamaica Nutmeg, Monodora myristica Calabash Nutmeg, Jamaica Nutmeg, Monodora myristica

 

  

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