Nutmeg & Mace

Nutmeg and Mace:  Of course, Nutmeg and Mace come from the same fruit, nutmeg being the seed and mace a fleshy, red aril attached to the seed.  You’ll typically not see the fruit, which is a leathery Coccum, a pliable structure that splits along two lines.  If it only split along a single line (hinged on the other edge), we’d call it a Follicle.  Indeed, that is what Judd et al accept for this group.

A mature nutmeg fruit
The red aril (part of the seed coat) surrounding the nutmeg seed

For the Cook, Nutmeg will hang out with other spices, but a Systematist would have solid conviction we should set it alongside PawPaws, or Custard Apples (all of which are in the Magnolia evolutionary line along with nutmeg).  All of those fruit would displayed reasonably close to Avocados and Sassafras leaves (if a Systematist ran the market).

The nutmeg seed (each about the size of a small olive) are ground to generate spicy granules that are nutmeg spice. They are as hard as wood, making it easy enough for someone to whittle a chunk of wood into the same shape, and the sell it to the unwary – that’s the story that is told. Connecticut carries a nickname as the Nutmeg State, originating through sailing days when America imported its own spices directly from the East

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