Bitter Nutmeg Tree

Bitter Nutmeg is a tree up to 20 m tall, often with stilt roots. Bark is brownish, warty, flaky; blaze reddish. Branches are usually at right angles to the main trunk. Branchlets are round, hairless. Sap is red from cut end of bark. Leaves are simple, alternate. Leaf-stalk is 1.5-4 cm long. Leaves are 12-25 x 4-12 cm, variable from narrow oblong to oblong, elliptic to lanceolate, tip pointed or blunt, base narrow to rounded, margin entire, thickly leathery, shining above, white glaucous beneath. Midrib is raised above, secondary nerves are 10-18 pairs, impressed above. Flowers are unisexual, dioecious, white. Male flowers are in axillary short umbels which are 10-20 flowered. Female flowers are in fascicles, stalkless. Capsule is ovoid, 6 x 3 cm, densely velvety. It has one ovoid seed, covered with orange red deeply laciniate aril.

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