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CINNAMOMUM verum

Image of Cinnamomum verum

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Lauraceae

Botanical Name

CINNAMOMUM verum

Plant Common Name

Cinnamon, Cinnamon Bark Tree

General Description

One of the earliest recorded spices, dating back to at least 3000 B.C., cinnamon is an aromatic plant that has essential oils throughout all its parts. A slow-growing, tropical broadleaf evergreen tree that attains a gloriously broad but rounded canopy, it is native to Sri Lanka and southernmost India. Its bark is smooth and gray-brown; the spice is dervied by stripping the tree of the brown inner bark layer and allowed to dry to the familiar orange-brown tone in stick-like quills. The unripe fruits, known as cassia buds, can be ground and used as a lower quality spice.

When new growth emerges, the foliage is a pretty red and contrasts boldly against the background of the dark green, leathery and highly glossy leaves. Each leaf is oval with three lighter green veins and can be crushed to release the scent of the essential oils. Anytime from spring to autumn, branch tips bear an airy cluster of tiny yellowish white flowers that attract honeybees. Small purplish black berries ensue and are relished by songbirds that spread the seeds across the landscape, potentially invasive in certain sandy-soiled regions of the tropics.

Grow cinnamon in full sun to light dappled shade in a sandy soil that is warm, moist and rich in organic matter. Protect from drought and apply a rich mulch covering over the root zone. It makes a handsome tropical shade tree or large shrub for a large planter box.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    25'-55' / 7.6m - 16.8m

  • Width

    30'-75' / 9.1m - 22.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    Southern Asia, India

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Purple, Black

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green, Dark Green, Pink

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Edible, Feature Plant, Shade Trees, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes