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Nutmeg, plant and cultivation. How to plant and care to devote to the plant.
There nutmeg plant it is known in botany as Myristica fragrans, belonging to the Myristicaceae family.
In its natural habitat, thenutmeg treeit can reach a height of 20 meters. It has a rounded and compact crown, an erect trunk and a gray bark.
ThereMyristica fragransis an evergreen tree with large, very bright dark green leaves.
It's aplantdioica, this means that male flowers and female flowers are found on different specimens.
The fruit, what we callnutmeg, develops from small yellow, pedunculated and bell-shaped flowers. The female flowers, unlike the male ones, are grouped in small cluster inflorescences.
A strength of thecultivation of nutmegis that thefloweringoccurs throughout the year.
From the plantMyristica fragransnutmeg is obtained (which represents the seed of the fruit) and another spice known asmace(which represents the aril that covers the seed).
Nutmeg, origins and history
Thereplantit is native to the Moluccas, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean which is part of the Indonesian geographical area.
The nutmeg plant originally grew spontaneously on only about ten of the Moluccas. We are talking about islands of volcanic origins of the much larger Malay archipelago.
Therenutmegwas known in India and the Middle East since 700 BC. when itspropertythey were appreciated both in cooking and in medicine.
In Europe, its spread dates back to 1300 even if in the first centuries it remained a rare and mysterious spice. The mystery ended around 1500, when some islands off the coast of Portugal were set upnutmeg crops.
Even today, the Moluccas represent the locality with the greatest production ofnutmeg. Therecultivation of nutmegit is currently widespread in various areas of the world: China, Taiwan, India and South America. As is clear the cultivation of nutmeg in Italyit would be very difficult, the places mentioned are all tropical areas! Nutmeg plants are, in fact, a tropical species!
Therecultivation of nutmeg in Italyis made impossible by the climate. ThereMyristica fragransit does not tolerate temperatures below 10 ° C.
Who wants to trycultivate nutmegit should have a large, well-ventilated greenhouse. Prepare a loose, fertile and well-drained soil and place the plant in a sunny area. In conclusion,cultivate the nutmeg plant in Italyit is an operationalmostcomplicated and impossible for production purposes.
In its natural habitat, thenutmegit is not subject to parasitic attacks nor does it need irrigation which is only necessary in the absence of rainfall for long periods.
Who wantssow nutmegmust be endowed with a high degree of patience. The small plant can be easily managed, germination is rapid and initial growth too. Theresowingat an amateur level it is possible. The only drawback is that flowering occurs at maturity, that is, after 10 - 15 years.
Nutmeg essential oil
Therecultivation of nutmegit can open the doors to the production of spices (nutmeg from seed and mace) and essential oil, extracted from different parts of the plant. For all information on the properties and uses of essential oil, please refer to the dedicated page:nutmeg essential oil.
Nutmeg and hallucinations
One of the active ingredients present in abundance in the spice, themistricin, is held responsible for psychotropic effects. In fact, in some locations around the globe, nutmeg is used as a recreational drug. For all its information on properties, amazing effects and benefits, we refer you to the page:nutmeg, properties.