Cinnamomum iners Reinw. ex Blume - LAURACEAE

Synonym : Cinnamomum malabathrum Batha
Cinnamomum eucalyptoides T.Nees
Cinnamomum nitidum Blume
Cinnamomum paraneuron Miq.
Cinnamomum iners var. angustifolium Ridl.

Common name : Wild cinnamom.

English   Lao   

Botanical descriptions Habitat and ecology Distribution

Botanical descriptions :

Diagnostic characters : Leaves pink when young, glaucous beneath with three longitudinal veins, crushed fresh leaves and inner bark with strong smell of cinnamon. Fruit green with yellow spots when young, dark blue when ripen, calyx lobes present.
Habit : Evergreen tree 20-30 m. tall. Crown bushy rounded. Sapwood whitish.
Trunk & bark : Trunk straight, bark smooth and lenticellate, greyish- brown, inner bark pinkish with strong fragrant smell.
Branches and branchlets or twigs : Twigs terete, brownish sparsely lenticellate, glabrous.
Exudates : Exudate absent.
Leaves : Leaves simple, opposite or sub opposite, 7.5 - 30 by 2.5 - 9 cm. elliptic to oblong , apex acute, base usually attenuate, margin entire, blade leathery, slightly brownish when drying, glaucous above, glabrous on both side.
Three main primary veins, flat above, proeminent below, secondary veins oblique to midrib.
Petiole with very short hairs.
Stipules absent.
Inflorescences or flowers : Flowers whitish green, grouped in terminal or axillary panicles, bisexual, flowers with unpleasant smell.
Fruits : Fruit is a berry, ellipsoid, 1 – 1.5 cm. long and 0.6-1 cm. wide, dark green with yellow spots, blackish-violet when ripening, calyx lobes present.
Seeds : One large seed.

Habitat and ecology :

Common in understory of evergreen forest mixed with conifers, found in disturbed and secondary forests as well as up to 1,800 m. altitude.
Flowering period : January – February; fruiting time: March – August.

Distribution :

Cambodia, India, Indonesia (Java), Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos (Khammouan, Louangphrabang…).

Remark/notes/uses :
The timber is insect resistent and used for house building and cabinet work.The bark yields an inferior grade of cinnamon but oil distilled from it and from the leaves can be used for flavouring and for incense sticks. Medicinally various plant parts are used for child birth complications, fever, rheumatic poultice,and to relieve flatuence, intestinal and urinary complications. Leaves are used for preparing sweet drinking water in rural areas.

Specimens studied :
BT 927 (Herbarium of Faculty of Sciences-NUoL, NHN-Leiden and CIRAD-Montpellier).

Literature :
Dung, Vu Van. 1996. Vietnam Forest Trees. Agriculture Publishing House, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Gardner S., Sidisunthorn P. & Anusarnsunthorn V. 2000. A field guide to Forest Trees of Northern Thailand. Kobfai Publishing Project. Bangkok. Thailand.
Lecomte H. (ed.). 1907-1912. Flore Générale de l'Indo-Chine. Vol.5 (2), Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Laboratoire de Phanérogamie, Paris, France.
Lehmann L., M. Greijmans and D. Shenman. 2003. Forests and trees of the central highlands of Xieng Khouang Lao PDR, A field guide. Lao Tree Seed Project, Vientiane, Laos.
Tree Flora of Malaya. 1972-1989. Vol. 4. Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kepong, Malaysia.

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