Nutmeg and Mace are two distinctly different spices produced from a single fruit of an evergreen, aromatic nutmeg tree usually 9 to 12 meters high, but sometimes reaching a height of 20 meters or more. Mace is the dried reticulated aril of nutmeg.
When the peach or apricot like nutmeg bursts open, the mace is seen as an attractive bright scarlet cage closely enveloping or clothing the hard, thin, black shining shell of the seed called nutmeg. The mace is skillfully removed, gently pressed flat, dried and is called the `blade of mace`. On drying, the original scarlet color of the mace turns rather pale yellowish brown or reddish brown and becomes brittle.