Nutmeg is the seed of the nutmeg tree, Myristica fragrans, native to the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, now part of Indonesia. (The tree's botanical name comes from the Greek myristikos, which means "smelling of myrrh".) Waverley Root notes that nutmeg, a polygamous plant, has been called "the pasha of tropical flora". Each male tree is surrounded by a small grove of female ones, which it fertilizes. The female trees bear seeds enclosed in a hard, yellow outer coating. When the fruit is ripe, the coating cracks, revealing a lacy, orange-red aril, or membrane, surrounding the seed. The aril, when dried, becomes the spice called mace, and is sold either ground or in segments called blades. Mace tastes a lot like nutmeg, but is lighter in color and flavor. After the aril is removed, the nutmeg—a hard, wrinkly, oval-shaped, gray-brown kernel—is left to dry in its shell. The shell is then cracked open and the nutmeg removed, to be sold either whole or in powdered form.