Between the sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries, the great powers of Europe fought wars over the spice trade and the islands where the spices grew, accumulating their global empires in the process.
One of the most keenly-contested possessions was the Moluccas, the famous East Indian Spice Islands. Vasco da Gama claimed them for Portugal; the Dutch seized them a century later. Both powers tried to preserve their monopoly of nutmeg production by using every possible means to restrict the removal of fertile seeds from the Moluccas. They were thwarted by pigeons, which ate the fruits before they were harvested and scattered the seeds on other islands!
Perhaps because of its hallucinogenic properties when consumed in excess, nutmeg has traditionally been thought to have magical powers.