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Cinnamomum verum, called true cinnamon tree or Ceylon cinnamon tree, is a small evergreen tree belonging to the family Lauraceae, native to Sri Lanka. The inner bark of several other Cinnamomum species are also used to make cinnamon, but C. verum has a more subtle flavor.
|Cinnamomum verum foliage and flowers|
Cinnamomum verum trees are 10–15 metres (30–50 feet) tall. The leaves are ovate-oblong in shape and 7–18 cm (3–7 inches) long. The flowers, which are arranged in panicles, have a greenish color and a distinct odour. The fruit is a purple 1cm drupe containing a single seed.
The old botanical synonym for the tree, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, is derived from Sri Lanka's former name, Ceylon. Sri Lanka still produces 80–90% of the world's supply of C. verum, which is also cultivated on a commercial scale in the Seychelles, Madagascar and Tanzania.
- Type 1 – Sinhala: Pani Kurundu (පැණි කුරුඳු), Pat Kurundu (පත් කුරුඳු), Mapat Kurundu (මාපත් කුරුඳු); Tamil: Ten Lavangapattai (தேன் இலவங்கப்பட்டை), Karamana lavangapattai (காரமான இலவங்கப்பட்டை), Taramana Lavangapattai (தரமான இலவங்கப்பட்டை)
- Type 2 – Sinhala: Naga Kurundu (නාග කුරුඳු); Tamil: Naka Lavangapattai (நாகா இலவங்கப்பட்டை)
- Type 3 – Sinhala: Pani Miris Kurundu (පැණි මිරිස් කුරුඳු); Tamil: Juci Milakay Lavangapattai (ஜூசி மிளகாய் இலவங்கப்பட்டை)
- Type 4 – Sinhala: Weli Kurundu (වැලි කුරුඳු); Tamil: Manal Lavangapattai (மணல் இலவங்கப்பட்டை)
- Type 5 – Sinhala: Sewala Kurundu (සෙවල කුරුඳු); Tamil: Vettappattatu Lavangapattai (வெட்டப்பட்டது இலவங்கப்பட்டை)
- Type 6 – Sinhala: Kahata Kurundu (කහට කුරුඳු); Tamil: Manyal Nira Lavangapattai (மஞ்சள் நிற இலவங்கப்பட்டை
- Type 7 – Sinhala: Peiris Kurundu (පීරිස් කුරුඳු); Tamil: Piris Lavangapattai (பீரிஸ் இலவங்கப்பட்டை)
The trees grow as leafy bushes, usually reaching a maximum of 3 m (10 ft) in height. They are first harvested at 3 years old, and continue producing well for 40–50 years. Small side branches (1.5–5 cm in diameter) are removed from the trees. The outer bark is removed, and made into mulch. Twigs, leaves and berries (seeds) are crushed and make cinnamon oil, a less valuable byproduct. The inner bark of the branches are loosened by being rubbed with a brass rod. Then the bark is split with a brass or stainless steel knife and peeled off as intact as possible. Long, full 'quills' of cinnamon are more valuable than broken pieces. These quills are then dried over several days in the shade, then in darkness. All this work is done by hand by experienced workers; this is the most expensive part of producing cinnamon spice. Finally, the dried bark is cut into sticks or ground into powder for sale to consumers.
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- "NCBI – Cinnamomum verum". National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
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(species Cinnamomum zeylanicum), bushy evergreen tree of the laurel family (Lauraceae) native to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), the neighboring Malabar coast of India, and Myanmar (Burma), and also cultivated in South America and the West Indies for the spice consisting of its dried inner bark. The bark is widely used as a spice due to its distinct odor.
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