The name of this species requires more validation[
]. The entry from 'Trees of Laos and Vietnam'[
], is for Cinnamomum glaucescens and lists Cinnamomum balsanae as a synonym. However, we believe both are accepted as good species - Cinnamomum glaucescens being restricted to India, Nepal and Bhutan; whilst Cinnamomum balsanae is restricted to Indo-China, especially Vietnam. Therefore we have drawn the tentative conclusion that the report in [
] refers to Cinnamomum balsanae and not Cinnamomum glaucescens[
Trunk and canopy
Photograph by: Hungda
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Cinnamomum balansae is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 45 metres tall. The straight bole can be 80cm or more in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its high quality essential oil and timber.
Very little habitat remains and the species is also suffering from poor regeneration, with a complete absence of seedlings and young trees under the canopy of parent trees. It has been classified as 'Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
Southeast Asia - Vietnam, Laos, Thailand.
Lowland, primary, evergreen forest at elevations below 700 metres[
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Young trees can tolerate some shade, but older trees become more light-demanding[
]. Prefers a deep, moist, well-drained soil[
Natural regeneration is very poor[
An essential oil obtained from the plant has medicinal uses[
We have no specific information for this species, but species in this genus are generally rich in essential oils with proven medicinal virtues. Species are often very similar and not always easily distinguished from each other. Many Cinnamomum species are likely to be used, particularly for treating disorders of the gastro-intestinal tract[
An essential oil can be extracted from all parts of the tree. It is used in medicine, soap making and lubricants[
The wood is heavy, resistant to insects and termites, aromatic, easy to work. It is used for construction, making high quality furniture, and sawing boards[
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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