Monodora myristica (Gaertner) Dunal, Monogr. Anon. 3: 80, 1817

Couvreur, Thomas L. P., Dagallier, Leo-Paul M. J., Crozier, Francoise, Ghogue, Jean-Paul, Hoekstra, Paul H., Kamdem, Narcisse G., Johnson, David M., Murray, Nancy A. & Sonke, Bonaventure, 2022, Flora of Cameroon - Annonaceae Vol 45, PhytoKeys 207, pp. 1-532 : 252-255

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Monodora myristica (Gaertner) Dunal, Monogr. Anon. 3: 80, 1817


Monodora myristica (Gaertner) Dunal, Monogr. Anon. 3: 80, 1817

Figs 75 View Figure 75 , 76 View Figure 76 ; Map 10A View Map 10

≡ Annona myristica Gaertner; Fruct. Sem. Pl. 2: 194, 1791.

= Monodora borealis Scott-Elliot, Journ. Linn. Soc., Bot. 30: 72, 1895. Type. Sierra Leone. Northern Province, Scarcies Rivers, Scott-Elliot G.F. 4716, 7 Jan 1892: holotype: K n.v.

= Monodora claessensii De Wild., Bull. Jard. Bot. État Brux. 3: 263, 1911. Type. Democratic Republic of the Congo. Manie Kindu, Claessens, J. 504, 1910: lectotype, sheet here designated: BR[BR0000008802071]; isotypes: BR[BR0000008802088, BR0000008802408].

= Monodora unwinii Hutch. & Dalziel, Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew: 53, 1927. Type. Nigeria. Southern state, Benin city, Unwin A.H. 45, no date: holotype: K[K000199030].


Jamaica. Cultivated, obtained from Banks: holotype: BM.


Tree, 30-40 m tall, d.b.h. 40-100 cm; stilt roots or buttresses absent. Indumentum of simple hairs if present; old leafless branches glabrous, young foliate branches glabrous, covered with a whitish wax. Leaves: petiole 8-14 mm long, 1-2 mm in diameter, glabrous, slightly grooved, blade inserted on the side of the petiole; blade 11-50 cm long, 4-14 cm wide, obovate, apex acuminate, acumen 1-1.5 cm long, base cuneate to cordate, coriaceous to papyraceous, below glabrous when young but covered with a whitish wax, glabrous when old, above glabrous when young and old, concolorous; midrib raised above, above glabrous when young and old, below glabrous when young and old; secondary veins 13 to 23 pairs, glabrous below; tertiary venation reticulate. Individuals bisexual; inflorescences ramiflorous on young foliate branches, leaf opposed or extra axillary. Flowers with 9 perianth parts in 3 whorls, 1 per inflorescence; pedicel 70-270 mm long, 2 mm in diameter, glabrous; in fruit 300-350 mm long, 10-15 mm in diameter, glabrous; bracts 1, upper only, towards the middle of pedicel, 15-40 mm long, 8-30 mm wide; sepals 3, valvate, free, 20-40 mm long, 7-17 mm wide, elliptic to ovate, apex attenuate, base truncate, pale yellow with purple to completely dark red, glabrous outside, glabrous inside, margins wavy; petals basally fused, tube 6-8 mm long, inner and outer whorl differentiated, outer petals longer than inner; outer petals 3, 40-105 mm long, 20-40 mm wide, ovate, apex acute, base truncate, deep yellow, base streaked with dark red, pale yellow spotted dark purple when young, margins wavy, glabrous outside, glabrous inside; inner petals 3, valvate, 25-35 mm long, 25-30 mm wide, cordate, apex acute to obtuse, base narrowed into a claw 2.0-5 mm long, white with red central vein abaxially, white and speckled with red-yellow adaxially, margins flat, pubescent towards base on both sides; receptacle strongly convex; stamens ca. 460-470, in 16 to 20 rows, 2 mm long, broad; connective elongated, pubescent, yellow; staminodes absent; carpels fused into a single structure, 4-5 mm long, stigma bilobed, slightly capitate, pubescent. Fruit syncarpous, 90-150 mm long, 80-150 mm in diameter, globose, apex rounded, glabrous, faintly ribbed longitudinally, otherwise smooth, green when ripe; seeds 15-22 mm long, 10-13 mm in diameter, flattened ellipsoid; aril absent.


A widespread species, from Sierra Leone to northern Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, western Kenya and Tanzania, also on the Island of São Tomé; in Cameroon known from the East, South, Central, Littoral, South-West and Adamaoua (one collection) regions.


A common species with a wide ecological amplitude, in primary and secondary rain forests, sometimes along rivers and near marshes, on sandy or rocky soils. Altitude 0-1600 m a.s.l.

Local and common names known in Cameroon.

Avom (Parren 136, Dial. Ewondo); Ndin (Westphal, 9149, 9883, 10173, 10204 [these later specimens were seen but not cited or mapped in the flora because they are market collections, thus the orgin of the plants are unknown]); Muscadier de Calabash, fausse noix de muscade (French), Calabash Nutmeg, African nutmeg, false nutmeg (English); muskatnußduftender Orchideenbaum, Kalabassenmuskat (German).

IUCN conservation status.

Least Concern (LC) ( Cosiaux et al. 2019a a).

Uses in Cameroon.

food: seeds for condiments, spices, flavourings (Westphal 10173).


Monodora myristica is easily recognizable by its long pedicel (up to 27 cm long in flower and 35 cm in fruit) and its globose generally finely ribbed fruits. It is also characterized by its pale green lower leaf surface and petioles (due to the presence of whitish wax), and a generally cordate leaf base. Sterile it can be confused with M. undulata , but the later generally has smaller leaves lacking the blue whitish indumentum.

Selected specimens examined.

Central Region: Mont Mbam Minkon on trail 2 km from Nkol Nyada village, 3.97°N, 11.40°E, 21 March 2013, Couvreur T.L.P. 412 (WAG,YA); Ottotomo Forest Reserve 1 km after reserve base near small loggers road, 3.65°N, 11.28°E, 25 June 2013, Couvreur T.L.P. 445 (WAG,YA); on trail to Oveng Lodge hotel near parking just behind the village of Oveng 30 km on road from Mbalmayo to Sangmeli 3.41°N, 11.70°E, 09 February 2014, Couvreur T.L.P. 608 (WAG,YA); Yaoundé, 3.86°N, 11.51°E, 30 July 1976, Westphal E. 9149 (WAG); Market of Messa Yaounde , 3.87°N, 11.52°E, 14 February 1978, Westphal E. 9883 (YA,P) GoogleMaps . East Region: Colline Nkolandjom près Ngoakélé à 25 km à l’W de Ngoulemakong (route Mbalmayo-Ebolowa), 3.38°N, 11.81°E, 12 July 1972, Letouzey R. 11474 (BR,P,YA); Asia, 3.63°N, 13.11°E, 21 April 1961, Letouzey R. 3899 (P,WAG,YA); Bezirk Molundu Bange-Busch Lokomo Bumba u Bange, 2.83°N, 15.25°E, 21 February 1911, Mildbraed G.W.J. 4530 (HBG) GoogleMaps . Littoral Region: Barombi camp 5 km S of Kumba on Buea-Douala road, 4.58°N, 9.45°E, 20 May 1983, Thomas D.W. 2118 (K,MO,P,YA) GoogleMaps . North Region: Kona , 4.6°N, 14.53°E, 15 December 1960, Letouzey R. 2616 (P,YA) GoogleMaps . South Region: Longii small marsh near seashore, 3.06°N, 9.966°E, 22 March 1969, Bos J.J. 4194 (BR,K,LM,MO,P,WAG,YA); Kribi roadside in New Bell, 2.95°N, 9.916°E, 14 May 1969, Bos J.J. 4526 (BR,K,LD,LM,MO,P,POZG,WAG,YA); on road Lolodorf-Bipindi ca half way near Mbiguiligui village (Mbikiliki), 3.16°N, 10.53°E, 26 February 2018, Couvreur T.L.P. 1155 (MPU,P,WAG,YA); Ebom, 3.1°N, 10.73°E, 20 February 1996, Elad M. 444 (WAG) GoogleMaps . South-West Region: Mungo River F.R., 4.78°N, 9.566°E, 02 December 1999, Cheek M. 10228 (K,MO,P,WAG,YA); Abang road, 4.92°N, 9.733°E, 14 December 1999, Cheek M. 10357 (K,MO,P,WAG,YA); Mount Cameroon National Park on the Bomona trail behind Bomona village 10 km NW from Idenau , 4.29°N, 9.079°E, 03 April 2016, Couvreur T.L.P. 1050 (WAG,YA); 2 km north of Nyasoso towards Mpako , 4.84°N, 9.679°E, 04 April 2016, Couvreur T.L.P. 1055 (WAG,YA); on trail from Ekongo village located 5 km before the entrance to Limbe 7 km on secondary road On flank of Mt Etinde 100 m in Mont Cameroon National Park, 4.06°N, 9.166°E, 16 October 2013, Couvreur T.L.P. 514 (WAG,YA); Ngusi, 4.83°N, 9.683°E, 15 January 1996, Etuge M. 1576 (K,WAG,YA); Nyasoso-Bedume road God-dat trail(opposite Ngusi road), 4.83°N, 9.683°E, 02 July 1996, Etuge M. 2516 (K,MO,P,WAG,YA); Mbolekang 1-2 km N of Nyandong village crossing Ndebessong river , 4.96°N, 9.579°E, 24 March 2003, Ghogue J.-P. 1487 (K); Entre Okoroba et Mbinda 20 km NW Nguti, 5.45°N, 9.272°E, 14 June 1975, Letouzey R. 13825 (P,YA); Limbe (Victoria), 4.01°N, 9.2°E, Preuss P.R. 1303 (BR,K,P,S) GoogleMaps . West Region: Bayangam, 5.3°N, 10.45°E, 17 December 1978, Westphal E. 10173 (P,WAG); Bayangam , 5.3°N, 10.45°E, 28 March 1979, Westphal E. 10204 (P,WAG) GoogleMaps .