requires warm humid conditions with an annual rainfall of 1500 to
2500mm and temperature of 25 330C. It grows well from sea level to an
elevation of 1300m. Extreme dry climate as well as water logging are
injurious to the crop. For the cultivation of nutmeg, river banks and
hill valleys with sandy loam and red laterite soils are ideal. Partial
shade appears to be beneficial in early growth stages.
Seeds and sowing: Nutmeg is normally propagated by seeds. The seeds
soon lose their viability and should be sown immediately. Large seeds
of uniform size, round shape, light brown color with thick mace and
low terpene content are selected for sowing. Germination takes 4 6
weeks. The sprouted seeds are transplanted into polythene bags which
can be planted in the main field after 6 12 months. Seedling progeny
will give about 50% of each sex, which is very difficult to
distinguish until the trees flower 4 6 years after planting. Cut off
the surplus males at this stage, leaving one male to 10 females.
Budding and grafting is followed to ensure female progeny. Nutmeg
seedlings are planted in the main field in pits of 90 cm cube dug at 8
Manu ring: Apply cattle manure at 10 kg/pit and gradually increased to
50 kg/tree for 15 years old tree. Likewise, fertilizers at 20:18:50g
N, P2O5 and K2O/tree in the first year is increased to 500:250:1000g
in the fifteenth year.
After cultivation: Regular weeding and irrigation are required for good
growth, early bearing and higher yield.
Plant protection: The hard scale (Saissetia nigra) infesting the
shoots can be controlled by spot spraying with quinalphos at 0.05%.
Shot hole caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, leaf blight and
fruit rot by Botryodiplodia theobromae, leaf spot by Alternaria citri,
sooty mould caused by Phragmocapinus betle and horse hair blight are
the common diseases of nutmeg, which can be controlled by spraying 1%
Bordeaux mixture repeatedly.
|Country of Origin: Indonesia
Extraction Method: Steam distilled
|Trees come to full bearing between 15 and 20 years and continue for more
than 40 years or more. Fruits ripen about 6 months after flowering. Fruits are
available throughout the year but the peak period of harvest is from December
to May. Fruit split open when fully ripe which are collected and dehusked. The
aril is removed, flattened out and dried slowly in sun for 10 15 days. The
nuts are dried for 4 8 weeks till the kernel rattles within the shell. A tree
produces 1500 2000 or more fruits/year. Yields per hectare may vary from 1000
1500 kg of nutmegs and 200 250 kg of mace per annum. Mace to nutmeg ratio is
about 7:200 on weight basis.
Essential oil is extracted from the seed, mace, leaves and also the bark, by
steam distillation. For oil distillation, the economically viable and accepted
materials are the rejections from spice trade. The oil yield ranges from 6 to
16% in nutmeg, 4 to 15% in mace, 0.14% in bark and 0.4 to 0.6% in leaves.
Chemical constituents: The seed essential oil contains 80% pinene and
camphene, 4% myristicin which is poisonous, dipentene, p cymene, d linalool,
terpineol, geraniol, safrole, eugenol and isoeugenol. Mace essential oil is
similar to nutmeg oil but it is fresher than the seed oil.
Uses: Nutmeg is grated in small quantities for
flavouring and confectionery. Mace is used with savoury dishes in pickles and
ketchups. The seeds yield a solid fixed oil, nutmeg butter, which is
used in ointments and perfumery.