Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition
Myristica insipida R.Br.
Brown, R. (1810) Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae : 400. Type: v.v. flor. Delaps.
Australian Nutmeg; Nutmeg; Native Nutmeg; Queensland Nutmeg
Leaf blades variable in size, about 11.5-20.5 x 7-10 cm, petioles hairy and about 8-15 mm long. Small oil dots visible with a lens. Young shoots and terminal buds clothed in prostrate, rusty brown hairs. Leaf blade much paler or whitish on the underside. Petiole channelled on the upper surface. Lateral veins slightly depressed on the upper surface and usually forming loops inside the blade margin. Leaf reticulate tertiary venation on lower leaf surface not visible.
Jessup (2007) recognises two varieties in northern Australia: var. insipida (leaf length 2.5-3.5 times width; fruit 2.5-3.8 cm long); and var. cimicifera (leaf length 2-2.5 times width; fruit 3.5-4.2 cm long).
Although no hard evidence of toxicity is available, it is rather sobering to remember that commercial Nutmeg is toxic when taken in large quantities and can induce narcotic symptoms in smaller quantities.
Fruit eaten by Cassowaries, Musky Rat-kangaroos, Victoria's Riflebirds and Fruit pigeons. Cooper & Cooper (1994).
Produces a useful general purpose timber.
Wood specific gravity 0.56. Cause et al. (1989).