Myristica diospyrifolia A.DC.
Myristica laurifolia Hook.f. & Thomson
Myristica dactyloides is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 20 metres tall. The bole often has stilt roots[
The tree is commonly harvested from the wild for its fruits, which are traded locally and nationally for use in medicine. The tree is also a local source of wood.
The fruits of this tree have a sizeable market demand and exploitation levels are high. The fruits are collected from its wild habitat in an indiscriminate way and this has had a severe impact on natural regeneration. Thus, the population of this species is declining very fast in the natural habitat, by around 40% in the past 90 years. In addition, forest degredation and habitat loss due to human activity are severely impacting upon this species. The plant is classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
E. Asia - southern India, Sri Lanka
A canopy or sub-canopy tree of primary forests in mid and high elevation zones where it seems to prefer riverside habitats[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Pollinators||Thrips, Beetles, Bees, Insects
Members of this genus are mainly understorey and canopy trees of primary woodland. They need the shade of woodland, especially when young, though can often tolerate more open positions as they grow larger. They usually succeed on a range of soil types. Most species have a superficial root system and are best grown in positions sheltered from strong winds[
Flowers are produced at the end of the branches[
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required.
Plants take around 30 years from seedlings to starting to produce seeds[
The fleshy rind of the fruit is used for pickling[
The seed and aril are used as spices[
The aril, combined with dried ginger, is used to check diarrhoea[
]. The aril is also used in treating coughs, bronchitis, fever, burning sensations, inflammation of joints, skin disorders, wounds, sleeplessness, indigestion, liver disorders and worms[
The fruits are used in Ayurveda and Sidha systems of medicine. The fruits are traded in the name of "Jaiphal"[
The bark and the leaves are boiled and the liquid used as a gargle in the treatment of throat infections[
The red sap (kino), present in the bark of most species in this genus, can be used as a dye that gives a permanent brown stain[
The heartwood is reddish brown; it is not distinctly demarcated from the sapwood. The wood is moderately hard, not durable. The wood is used for coffee and plumbago casks, coffins and packing cases[
]. It splits too freely upon seasoning to be much good[
We have no further information for this species, but the following is the general information for the wood of trees in this genus:-
The heartwood can be dark reddish brown to light yellow-brown or brown with occasional pink tinge and dark red-purple stripes; it is not clearly differentiated from the paler sapwood. A blood red core is found in some species. The grain is straight; the texture is rather fine to slightly coarse and even; somewhat lustrous; without characteristic odour or taste. Growth rings are distinct, demarcated by layers of terminal parenchyma. The wood is mostly soft or moderately hard and moderately heavy; it is not durable, but is easily treated with preservatives. The wood dries rather slowly but with little degrade, though thin stock tends to warp. It is easy to work with, but sometimes easily splitting; planning is easy, with a smooth to moderately smooth finish; drilling and turning are easy with a smooth finish; nailing properties are generally good with some tendency to splitting. A light hardwood, it is mainly used for light construction work, partitioning, flooring, wall-panelling, moulding and other types of interior finishing, and for making tool-handles, woodcrafts, match boxes and splints, packing cases, crates, and household utensils. It is also suitable for manifacturing plywood, rotary veneer and wrapping and writing papers[
Seed - dries out easily, loses its viability rapidly, and cannot be stored. It is best sown in a shaded position in a nursery seedbed - germination is usually fairly quick with the seed of most species sprouting within 2 - 17 weeks[
]. Grow the young plants on in a shady position, planting them out in their permanent positions when large enough.
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