Nutmeg is the oval shaped seed of an evergreen tree called Myristica fragans indigenous to the Moluccas (or Spice Islands) of Indonesia. Another spice from the same tree, Mace, is the lacy red covering of the nutmeg. Nutmeg is now cultivated on Malaysia, in the Caribbean and in southern India.
The nutmeg seed is encased in a yellowish green, edible fruit, the approximate size and shape of a small peach. The fruit splits in half to reveal a net-like, bright red covering over the seed. This is the aril, which is collected, dried and sold as mace. Under the aril is a dark shiny nut-like pit, and inside that is the oval shaped seed, which is the nutmeg. Nutmeg is usually sold without the mace or hard shell. They are oval, about 1 inch in length, lightly wrinkled and dark brown on the outside, and lighter brown on the inside.