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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 15:50 EDT

Chinese Cinnamon, Cinnamomum cassia

Cinnamomum cassia is an evergreen tree species. The species may also be commonly referred to as the Chinese cassia or Chinese cinnamon. C. cassia is a member of the family Lauraceae. It is indigenous to southern China; however the plant is widely cultivated for its aromatic bark that is turned into the common spice “cinnamon”. The plant is nurtured and grown most abundant in Asia, specifically in India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Cinnamomum cassia plants grow between 32 and 49.21 feet in height. Its leaves are oval and measure approximately 4 to 6 inches long. As the leaf matures it changes from a reddish color to a green color. The tree is covered in a layer of rough, greyish bark. Its bark is dried and ground. Although still common, the spice has a less delicate flavor than other common cinnamons. It may sometimes be referred to as “bastard cinnamon” because it is less delicate once processed than cinnamon made from other tree species.

Image Caption: Chinese Cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia). Credit: Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen/Wikipedia (public domain)

Chinese Cinnamon Cinnamomum cassia