Nutmeg is the seed of a type of evergreen tree (Myristica fragrans), while mace is the reddish netlike covering surrounding the seed. Nutmeg and mace are used as a flavouring for many sweet dishes from the cuisines of various countries, and as a spice in many savoury dishes. Nutmeg is also an essential ingredient in many Christmas favourites such as mulled cider, mulled wine and eggnog. Nutmeg is also used for perfume and medicine. The common nutmeg is native to the Banda islands of Indonesia. The plant was a lucrative trade spice throughout history. Therefore after the Napoleonic war it was transplanted by the British to Sri Lanka, Penang, Bencoolen and Singapore. However records show that the plant existed in Sri Lanka even before this.