Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) is an evergreen tropical tree native to the Moluccas, the Spice Islands of Indonesia. The seed itself is called nutmeg and the red aril that surrounds the seed is sold separately as the milder spice mace. Nutmeg is dioecious, meaning male and female flowers are produced on separate trees. Grafting is used to ensure nutmeg plantations are full of female trees. Until the 19th century the origins of nutmeg were a mystery to European traders. When the nutmeg plantations were discovered the Portuguese, Dutch East India Company and the British fought to take control of this lucrative trade, with prices marked up 60,000% by the time they were sold to consumers. Unsurprisingly some enterprising rogues made fake ‘wooden nutmeg’, which itself became an American term for fraud.
Try this clove nutmeg pot pourri activity to fill your home with a lovely festive scent this Christmas.