Selasian Wood, Cinnamomum parthenoxylon

Cinnamomum parthenoxylon is an evergreen tree species. The species may also be commonly referred to as Selasian Wood, Saffrol Laurel or Martaban Camphor Wood. The plant is a member of the Lauraceae family. It is indigenous to south and eastern Asia, specifically, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Cinnamomum parthenoxylon trees grow anywhere between 33 and 66 feet tall. Its trunk and branches are covered by a grey or brown bark that is notched and cracked. Oval leaves grow between 2.75 and 4 inches long and come to a pointed tip. Its leaves are fragrant when disturbed or cracked. Greenish flowers develop and grow to form tiny flower clusters. Following flowering the plant produces small black fruit that may also be referred to as drupes.

The plant is currently being harvested and destroyed at a particularly high rate leaving reason for concern. There is a sought after chemical component being extracted from the trees bark and leaves.

Image Caption: Leaves of a Selasian Wood (Cinnamomum parthenoxylon). Credit: Alfred Kwok/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)