Order XXXVI. Myristicaceae, Lindley.—Nutmegs.
Myristicaceae, R. Brown.
Characters.—Flowers completely unisexual. Calyx trifid, rarely quadrifid; with vulvular aestivation. Males:—Filaments either separate, or completely united in a cylinder. Anthers 3 to 12. 2-celled, turned outwards, and bursting longitudinally; either connate or distinct. Females:—Calyx deciduous. Ovary superior, sessile, with a single erect ovule; style very short; stigma somewhat lobed. Fruit baccate, dehiscent, 2-valved. Seed nut-like; albumen ruminate, between fatty and fleshy; embryo small; cotyledons foliaceous; radicle inferior; plumule conspicuous.—Tropical trees, often yielding a red juice. Leaves alternate, without stipules, not dotted, quite entire, stalked, coriaceous; usually, when full grown, covered beneath with a close down. Inflorescence axillary or terminal, in racemes, glomerules, or panacles; the flowers often each with one short cucullate bract. Calyx coriaceous, mostly downy outside, with the hairs sometimes stellate, smooth in the inside (Lindley, from R. Brown, chiefly).
Properties.—The bark and pericarp contain an acrid juice. The seed (?) and arilloid abound in an aromatic volatile oil, which is mixed with a fixed oil.