Myristicaceae – Nutmeg family.
A basal angiosperm family that in 2016 was put in the Order Magnoliales.
It has about 300 species in 19 genera including Myristica.
Medium to large evergreen trees but a few shrubs.
Side branches are in whorls with large gaps between the whorls.
The trunk exudes a reddish sap when cut, smaller branches have a clear sap.
Bark vertically ridged and may peel in thick plates.
The leaves, on stalks or petioles, are mostly alternately arranged in 2 ranks (distichous).
They have no stipules which helps distinguish them from the Magnoliaceae.
They are simple, glossy, dark green with pinnate venation that may be hard to see.
The undersides may be paler and have yellow, brown or red star-shaped hairs.
They have a spicy smell when damaged.
Apart from 2 genera trees are either male or female (dioecious).
Small flowers are in clusters in the leaf axils, terminal or sometimes on the trunk.
They are shaped like a funnel, bell or urn and pale white to greenish, yellow or reddish.
The perianth is one whorl of 3 (2-5) sometimes fleshy tepals.
Male flowers have 3 to 12 (or more) stamens with filaments that can be free but are often fused to form a column (androphore).
The basifixed anthers, all fertile, are fused to the column to various degrees.
Female flowers have a superior ovary of 1 carpel, with 1 ovule, no style and an often bi-lobed stigma.
The leathery fruit is typically a capsule that splits to release the single seed.