Cinnamon is a popular spice, obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savory foods. Two species of the cinnamon tree are most common, and provide most of the spice sold worldwide. The spice from Cinnamomum cassia has a stronger taste and dark brown color. This version of the spice is popular in the United States. "True" cinnamon is a common term for the Cinnamomum zeylanicum, a native of Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Ceylon True Cinnamon is praised for its health benefits and not to mention its deliciousness in apple pie!

Species that are often sold as cinnamon:

• Cinnamomum verum ("True cinnamon", Sri Lanka cinnamon or Ceylon cinnamon)
• C. burmannii (Korintje, Padang Cassia, or Indonesian cinnamon)
• C. loureiroi (Saigon cinnamon, Vietnamese cassia. or Vietnamese cinnamon)
• C. cassia (Cassia or Chinese cinnamon)

There are several different cultivars of Cinnamomum verum based on the taste of bark:

• Type 1 Sinhala: Pani Kurundu (පැණි කුරුඳු), Pat Kurundu (පත් කුරුඳු) or 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: Pieris Kurundu (පීරිස් කුරුඳු)

Plant description

Ceylon Ture Cinnamon grows up to a height of 6 meters (20 ft) although occasionally, heights of up to 12 meter (40 ft) have also been observed. It thrives in sandy loam, loose moist soil with a lot of organic material. The trunk is stout, about 30-60 cm (2-3 ft) in diameter and when matured, is covered with a thick grey bark. The branches are low-set and very bushy. The young leaves are reddish in color, turning to lighter green and then finally to deep green. The deep green leaves are linear-elliptical in shape, measuring about 7-10 cm (3-4 in) long and 3-5 cm (1-2 in) wide. Flowers are small and yellow in color. The fruit is a black fleshy ovoid drupe, measuring about 1.5-2.0 cm (0.6-0.8 in) in length, when ripe.

Cinnamon is propagated either by seeds or by rootstock cuttings. The advantage of using rootstock is that the stems can be harvested in about 12-18 months, as compared to 3 years for seedlings.[3] The stems are harvested during the rainy season as it facilitates peeling of the bark. The first harvest is normally of inferior quality, as compared to subsequent harvests. The best bark quality is obtained from the middle portion of the shoots that arise from the center of the tree.[3] The yield decreases after 10 years. The chief pest attacking cinnamon is the boring caterpillar, which eats the shoots. Gall (due to mites) and leaf fungus have also been recorded to attack cinnamon leaves and twigs.


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