Spice It Up

Nutmeg Flower

This beauty is a Nutmeg Flower. There are many different varieties of nutmeg. This one hails from Jamacia. The nuts and seed hulls from this plant can be ground and used as a spice, though according to internet sources,  it is inferior to the Spice Islands nutmeg.

There were few flowers on the tree, but plenty of black, withered leaves.  Further inspection revealed that the black “leaves” didn’t resemble the green leaves.  that’s when it dawned on me that the tree was covered in dead flowers!  Inside that withered black shell, a nutmeg fruit is forming.  Maybe when Jientje is here, we can go back to the garden and there will be fruit on the tree.

UPDATE: My Amoeba looked at this post and told me there likely won’t be any fruit on the tree when Jientje gets here. He says the flowers are all black and dried up because they were never pollinated. This tree is pollinated by a specific beetle, and that beetle doesn’t live in Hawaii.

26 thoughts on “Spice It Up

  1. Wow..those are stunning! Nutmeg…that reminds me…egg nog season is just around the corner – and after that….Quilly will be just a hop and a skip away!

    • Jientje — I don’t know. Amoeba says there were flowers on it previously when we were there. I told him I don’t remember seeing the tree previously. He says I was all caught up in something else and not paying attention to him. (I find that hard to believe but he swears it is true.)

  2. Quilly, I think Amoeba must know everything about plants! Wow. So is there a way they can propogate the plant in Hawaii or do they just have to import new ones? No fruit = no seeds…

    When Jientje is there be sure to let her taste pumpkin pie…she said somewhere else she hadn’t ever tried it. It’s a MUST…

    • Kelley — Amoeba doesn’t know everything about plants, but he does have a PhD in Botany, which means he knows more than your average plant lover.

      And, Amoeba says that if they wanted the tree to bear fruit, they could pollinate it by hand. It takes two trees and little cotton swab type things and LOTS of time.

    • Maribeth — how cool! Now I have to tell Amoeba I want to go … not that telling him will make it happen mind you, but he should know just in case.

  3. I never thought before of how nutmeg was grown and processed. Interesting! And that is a lovely flower. But I was wondering along with southlakesmom how the tree is propagated without pollination. Or can it grow fine without it but just can’t produce fruit?

    • Barbara — you must have written your comment while I was updating my comment to Kelley (South Lakes Mom). Amoeba says that if they wanted the tree to bear fruit, they could pollinate it by hand. It takes two trees and little cotton swab type things and LOTS of time.

  4. I’ve never seen any kind of nutmeg flower. I only know the seeds.
    Amazing.
    And your man is so smart :D!
    Too bad there won’t be nuts when Jientje comes.

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