Myristica argentea Warb

Last updated: 30 Jun 2016

Scientific Name

Myristica argentea Warb. (unresolved name)


Palala argentea Kuntze [unresolved] [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Pala papua [2]
English Papua or Papuan nutmeg, long nutmeg, Macassar nutmeg [2]
Indonesia Pala Irian (General); pala lelaki (Java); henggi (Irian Jaya) [2]
France Noix de muscade mâle, noix de muscade longue [2].

Geographical Distributions

Myristica argentea probably originated in Irian Jaya, where it occurs both wild and cultivated. In the wild, it is confined to the Bomberi peninsula of Irian Jaya, while its cultivation has spread along the coast, also into Papua New Guinea. Occasionally, it is also cultivated in the Moluccas. [2]

Most Myristica spp. are inhabitants of lowland, tropical, evergreen rainforests up to 800 m altitude, though there are several mountain species as well. They usually form part of the second storey, though some reach the top of canopy. M. argentea grows on slopes below 700 m altitude. [2]

Botanical Description

M. argentea is a member of the Myristicaceae family. It can grow up to 15-20(-25) m tall. The bark is dark or blackish grey and with very small scales while the sap is red. The older twigs are wrinkled by conspicuous wart-like lenticels. [2]

The leaves are papery and the petiole is 1.5-2 cm long. The leaves blade are mostly elliptical-lance-shaped, measuring 10-20(-25) cm x 4-6(-10) cm and wedge-shaped at the base. The lower surface is silvery with short cobweb-like hairs while the midrib and 9-13 pairs of veins are sunken above and prominent beneath. [2]

The male inflorescence is 2-5 cm long, slender, simple or mostly forked once. It bears 3-5 flowers. The pedicel is 1-1.3 cm long and slender. The perianth is ellipsoidal, measuring 7-11 mm x 5 mm, medium brown and slightly hairless while the female inflorescence is 1-1.5 cm long. The main axis is usually simple but sometimes bifurcate. The pedicel is 8 mm long. The perianth is ovoid-ellipsoidal, measuring 8-10 mm x 5-5.5 mm and with a beak-like apex. The ovary is flask-shaped, light brown hairy and measuring 3-4 mm x 7 mm. [2]

The fruit is ellipsoidal, measuring 4.5-8.5 cm x 4.5-5.5 cm, slightly narrowed at both ends, glabrescent and yellow with some brown pustules. The seed is oblong-cylindrical, measures up to 4 cm long, broadening at the base and shiny black-brown. The red aril is thin. [2]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

No documentation.

Preclinical Data

No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of M. argentea [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Myristica argentea Warb. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 Jun 30]. Available from:
  2. de Guzman CC, Siemonsma JS, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 13: Spices. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher; 1999.