Mace is a spice. What’s the difference between an herb and a spice? Well, it is generally agreed that an herb is from the leaves, flowers or stem, or soft part of a plant that has medicinal and/or culinary uses. A spice is from the seed, bark or root or hard part of a plant and its use is primarily culinary and secondarily medicinal.
Mace is the aril, or covering, of the nutmeg seed. The nutmeg tree is an evergreen, growing to 12 metres (40 feet). It has fragrant leaves and tufts of small yellow flowers. The tree is native to the Molucca Islands of Indonesia (the Spice Islands), so forget about trying to cultivate one in your back yard.