FoI
Bitter Nutmeg   
Foto info
Bitter Nutmeg
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Bitter Nutmeg • Kannada: kaadu jaapatre, kadu jaajikaai, kadu pindi kayi • Malayalam: panthappayin, adakkappayin • Sanskrit: जातिफल Jatiphala • Tamil: katujathika, kattuc catikkay, catikkaymaram • Telugu: adavijaajikaaya
Botanical name: Myristica beddomei    Family: Myristicaceae (Nutmeg family)

Bitter Nutmeg is an evergreen tree up to 25 m tall, bark 10-14 mm thick, surface blackish-green, smooth; sap watery, red; branchlets hairless. Leaves are simple, alternate, leaf-stalk 1.0-2.5 cm long, grooved above, hairless; blade 12-25 x 4-10 cm, oblong or elliptic-ovate, base pointed, round or rarely wedge-shaped, tip pointed, margin entire, hairless, shining above and glaucous beneath, leathery; lateral nerves 10-25 pairs, pinnate, prominent, interco stae netveined, faint. Flowers are unisexual, white; male flowers 10-20 together in short in leaf-axils dense clusters; flower-cluster-stalk mostly 2-cleft and woody, prominently marked with cicatrices of the bracts; flower-stalks slender, rusty woolly; perianth thin, fleshy, rusty woolly, fused into an urn-shaped tube, constricted above, suddenly expanded, breaking into 3 ovate, spreading pointed lobes. Female flowers as in male, only few generally 3-4 in the heads; ovary superior, stalkless, ovoid-spherical, appressed velvet-hairy. Fruit is a capsule, 5-7.5 x 3.7-6 cm, ovoid, apiculate, grooved on one side along the suture, pericarp rufous velvet-hairy when young, thick, fleshy; seed one, ovoid; aril orange red, encircling the seed, deeply cut down into many lobes, each of which is more or less lanceshaped at the tip into thread-like segments.

Identification credit: Shrikant Ingalhalikar, J.M. Garg Photographed at Doraikatte Hill Top, Karnataka.

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