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Ceylon cinnamon tree Cinnamomum verum

Previously known as:

  • Cinnamomum zeylanicum
Phonetic Spelling
sin-uh-MOH-mum VAIR-um
Description

Cinnamomum comes from the Greek word Kinnamomon, which translates to spice, while verum means true.  Thus the common name of True Cinnamon.

Cinnamon is a small evergreen tropical tree native to Sri Lanka that is not likely to grow well in North Carolina due to colder winter temperatures.  Optimum conditions for growing include warm and wet climate.  Young trees will perform at their best when shade from the afternoon sun is provided.  As the tree matures, it can withstand more sunlight.  

Typically a tree grown in the tropics, it can thrive in a cooler location when overwintered in a protected environment, such as indoors as a houseplant.  After overwintering indoors, allow the tree to acclimate to the outdoors by placing outdoors for short periods of time, and slowly increasing its outdoor time each day.  Failure to provide the necessary time to acclimate can cause the leaves to scorch.  

Oils from the foliage and bark are both fragrant, and are used in the production of food and beverages as well as soaps and candles.  After drying the bark, it can be used as a spice for baking, or a seasoning for meats, sauces, pickles, and confectionery treats.  

True cinnamon is pollinated by insects, especially flies.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  A host plant for the cinnamon butterfly, who can defoliate young plants.  Beetles and leaf miners feed on the plant.  Issues with aphids, whiteflies and scale are possible.

Stripe canker, anthracnose, and leaf spot are also issues for this plant.

Although not considered invasive in the US, it has escaped cultivation in many Pacific Island locals.  These locations include Samoa, Fiji and the Cook Islands.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#small tree#fragrant leaves#broadleaf evergreen#warm climates#pollinator plant#evergreen tree#wet soils tolerant#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#host plant#non-toxic for cats#tropical tree#heat intolerant#wet soils intolerant#pollinator garden#rocky soils intolerant#fragrant bark
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#small tree#fragrant leaves#broadleaf evergreen#warm climates#pollinator plant#evergreen tree#wet soils tolerant#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#host plant#non-toxic for cats#tropical tree#heat intolerant#wet soils intolerant#pollinator garden#rocky soils intolerant#fragrant bark
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cinnamomum
    Species:
    verum
    Family:
    Lauraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    It is used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Sri Lanka
    Wildlife Value:
    Host plant for Chilasa clytia (cinnamon butterfly). Birds are attracted to the fruits.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Fragrance
    Shade
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Edibility:
    The inner bark is edible dried and ground and used as a spice for both savory and sweet cooking. Oils are also extracted from the plant and used as flavoring.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 30 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 20 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    24-60 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a, 11b, 11a, 12b, 12a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fleshy, green fruits will mature to dark purple. They form as drupes and will contain one seed. Although they have a cinnamon aroma, they are not used for the production of cinnamon.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Panicle
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The flowers have an unpleasant aroma.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The large leaves can grow up to lengths of 10". They have 3 distinct yellow veins. Young leaves can have a reddish tint.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Red/Burgundy
    Bark Description:
    The bark is fragrant.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Patio
    Recreational Play Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Flowering Tree
    Shade Tree
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds