Annona myristica Gaertn.
Monodora borealis Scott-Elliot
Monodora claessensii De Wild.
Monodora grandiflora Benth.
Common Name: African Nutmeg
African nutmeg is a deciduous tree with a huge, lush crown; it can grow from 10 - 35 metres tall[
]. The bole can be up to 2 metres in diameter[
The tree is particularly valued for its aromatic seed, which is used as a condiment, medicinally, and also to make rosaries and necklaces. Usually harvested from the wild, the seeds are often sold in local markets in W. Africa[
]. The tree is also occasionally cultivated for its seeds on the Antilles and in Indonesia[
]. A very ornamental tree with its attractive leaves and orchid-like, conspicuous and scented flowers[
Tropical Africa - Gambia to Sudan and Kenya, south to Angola and Tanzania.
Evergreen and deciduous forest, often of riverine or lakeside fringing type; at elevations from 1,140 - 1,800 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Prefers a deep, fertile loam soil and a sheltered position in full sun or light shade[
Trees seldom set fruit when cultivated because they lack the beetle that normally pollinates them in the wild[
The aromatic seeds are ground into a powder then used as a condiment in food, providing a flavour resembling that of nutmeg[
]. The seeds are embedded in a white sweet-smelling pulp of a fruit that can be 20cm long by 15cm in diameter[
The bark is used to treat haemorrhoids, stomach-ache and febrile pains[
The bark is used in a vapour-bath as a defatigant and to relieve febrile lumbago[
]. The juice expressed from the bark is used to paint over itch[
]. Combined with the bark of Monodora tenuifolia a lotion is prepared for use in various eye-troubles[
The aromatic seeds are antiemetic, aperient, stimulant, stomachic and tonic[
]. They are used as a stimulating addition to medicines. Ground to a powder they may be taken to treat digestive problems and relieve constipation[
Applied externally in the form of a powder, or made up into an oily pomade, the seed can be applied to sores, especially those caused by the guinea-worm[
]. It is also applied to rid the body of fleas and lice[
]. The seeds are chewed up and applied to the forehead to relieve headaches and migraine[
The seeds smell like nutmeg and are used to make aromatic necklaces and rosaries[
They are used to repel fleas and lice[
The seeds contain 5 - 9% of a colourless essential oil consisting largely of terpenes and with a pleasant taste and smell[
]. It is of inferior value for perfuming soap[
The seeds contain about 35 - 36% of a reddish-brown fixed oil, of which 46.9% is linoleic acid, and 35% oleic acid[
]. It is not of economic value[
The white or greyish wood is hard, somewhat tough does not split well and is easy to work[
]. It is suitable for carpentry and turnery, and also used for making walking sticks[
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