The scientific name was originally spelled as Cinnamomum loureirii, but because the species is named after the botanist João de Loureiro, this is to be treated under the International Code of Nomenclature as an orthographic error for the correctly derived spelling of loureiroi.
Common Name: Saigon Cinnamon
Cinnamomum loureiroi is an evergreen tree that can grow 15 - 20 metres tall[
The bark is gathered from the wild, and the plant is also sometimes cultivated, for use as a spice and medicine. It is considered by some to be a superior spice to true cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum).
E. Asia - Vietnam.
Forests at low to medium elevations, occasionally ascending to 2,000 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A plant of moist lowland areas in the tropics and subtropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,000 metres[
]. It grows best in areas where the mean annual temperature is 20 - 30°c, but tolerates 17 - 34°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall of 2,500 - 3,000mm, tolerating 1,500 - 3,500mm[
]. It grows in areas with all year rainfall and also with a distinct dry season[
Prefers a fertile, sandy, moisture-retentive but freely draining soil in full sun or partial shade[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6.4, tolerating 4.5 - 8[
Harvest of superior bark cannot usually take place until the trees are at least 10 - 12 years old[
The bark, and an essential oil obtained from it, are much used as a flavouring in a wide range of foods[
]. Highly esteemed in China and Japan, and considered by many to be superior to the more widely used cinnamon (C. verum)[
]. The bark is sweeter than cinnamon and is used for baking and is made into a cordial[
]. The bark is usually harvested from young branches[
]. The bark is peeled from the stems and branches and set aside to dry. Some varieties are scraped. While drying, the bark curls into quills. The colour varies from light reddish brown for the thin, scraped bark to grey for the thick, unscraped bark[
The unripe fruits are dried and sold as cassia buds, for use as food flavourings[
]. They have a cinnamon-like aroma and a warm, sweet, pungent taste akin to that of cassia bark[
The dried bark is aromatic, astringent, carminative, stimulant and stomachic[
]. It is often used in association with other medicines[
The bark contains around 2.5% essential oil, which is particularly rich in cinnamic acid[
The bark contains 1 to 7% of essential oil[
An extract from the bark is an ingredient of commercial cosmetic preparations, where it is used as a skin conditioner[
Seed - the seed of species in this genus generally has a short viability and is best sown as soon in containers as it is ripe[
]. Remove the fruit pulp since this can inhibit germination[
]. Soaking the seeds for 24 hours in lukewarm water hastens germination[
], which can take 1 - 6 months at 20°c[
]. The germination rate of fresh seed is about 50%, falling to 25% for seed 6 months old, and zero for those 1 year old[
]. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible in containers[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions when 10cm or more tall.
Cuttings of semi-ripe side shoots, 7cm with a heel, in a frame with bottom heat[
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