Myristica fatua Houtt.

Myristica fatua Houtt.




M. tomentosa Thunb., M. spadicea Blume, M. plumeriifolia Elmer.


Vernacular Names

Indonesia Hai (Seram), pala utan (Ambon), pala laki-laki (Banda)
Philippines Uyat-uyat (Yakan).

Geographical Distributions

Myristica fatua is distributed fromsouth-eastern Kalimantan, Sulawesi, the Philippines and the Moluccas.



M. fatua is a small to medium-sized tree which is up to measure 20 m tall. The bole is with low buttresses and stilt roots.

The leaves are chartaceous to slightly coriaceous, with a size of measure about (20-)25-35 cm long, pale yellow to whitish in colour due to minute scales below. The secondary veins are 20-25 pairs and sunken above.

The male inflorescence is on lateral spur shoot. The male flowers are measure about 7-8 mm long and rusty appressed hairy outside while the female flowers are measure about 6 mm long.

The fruit is oblong in shape, with a size of measuring about 5-7.5 cm long and shortly hairs.


Ecology / Cultivation

M. fatua is a very variable species, formerly divided into many varieties. Most of these are now regarded as distinct species. It is found in well-drained forest, on clay or volcanic soil, up to 500 m altitude.


Line Drawing / Photograph



    1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 5(2): Timber trees: Minor commercial timbers.