Description from Flora of China
Evergreen trees, sometimes with aerial roots at base. Leaf blade papery, abaxial surface white papillose or with rusty pubescence; midvein often sunken adaxially, lateral veins nearly parallel or curving, connected at margin, tertiary veins not parallel, reticulate, sunken adaxially. Inflorescences often axillary or arising from axils of deciduous leaves, tuberculate or with smooth peduncle at apex often dichotomous or trichotomous; flowers densely racemose or subumbellate, at apex of peduncle; bracts caducous; bracteole at base of perianth, rarely deciduous. Flowers urceolate or bell-shaped, rarely tubular, pedicellate. Perianth (2 or)3-lobed. Filaments connate into staminal column; anthers slender, 7-30, connate abaxially; synandrium often longer than basal stalk. Ovary glabrous or hairy; style almost absent; stigma bifid. Pericarp thickly leathery, glabrous or pubescent. Aril red, laciniate to base.
In addition to the relatively widely cultivated crop Myristica fragrans (nutmeg and mace), the following three species, all native to the Philippines, are very locally cultivated in China for medicine and ornament: M. cagayanensis Merrill (M. heterophylla Hayata; M. philippensis Kanehira & Sasaki) is cultivated in Taiwan (Lan Yu, Taibei); M. guatteriifolia A. Candolle is cultivated in Hong Kong; and M. simiarum A. Candolle (M. discolor Merrill) is cultivated off SE coast of Taiwan (Lan Yu).
About 150 species: S Asia from E India to the Philippines, New Guinea, Pacific islands (W Polynesia); two species (one introduced) in China.