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Cinnamomum verum, also known as Cinnamomum zeylanicum, colloquially 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 the tree is historically regarded as the "spice' cinnamon, even though this term was later generalized for both C. cassia and C. zeylanicum together.
|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 odor. 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)
- Type 2 – Sinhala: Naga Kurundu (නාග කුරුඳු)
- Type 3 – Sinhala: Pani Miris Kurundu (පැණි මිරිස් කුරුඳු)
- Type 4 – Sinhala: Weli Kurundu (වැලි කුරුඳු)
- Type 5 – Sinhala: Sewala Kurundu (සෙවල කුරුඳු)
- Type 6 – Sinhala: Kahata Kurundu (කහට කුරුඳු)
- Type 7 – Sinhala: Peiris Kurundu (පීරිස් කුරුඳු)
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 processed into mulch. Twigs, leaves and berries (seeds) are crushed and make cinnamon oil, a less valuable byproduct. The inner bark of the branches is loosened by being rubbed with a brass rod. The bark is then 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.
The Sri Lankan grading system divides the cinnamon quills into four groups:
- Alba, less than 6 mm (0.24 in) in diameter
- Continental, less than 16 mm (0.63 in) in diameter
- Mexican, less than 19 mm (0.75 in) in diameter
- Hamburg, less than 32 mm (1.3 in) in diameter
These groups are further divided into specific grades. For example, Mexican is divided into M00000 special, M000000 and M0000, depending on quill diameter and number of quills per kilogram. Any pieces of bark less than 106 mm (4.2 in) long are categorized as quillings. Featherings are the inner bark of twigs and twisted shoots. Chips are trimmings of quills, outer and inner bark that cannot be separated, or the bark of small twigs.
Medicinal uses Edit
Leaves of the Cinnamomum verum plant
Leaves of the Cinnamomum verum plant
Bark, powder and dried flowers from Cinnamomum verum plant
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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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