SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cinnamomum verum or Cinnamomum zeylanicum
OTHER COMMON NAMES: Ceylon Cinnamon, Cinamomo (Spanish)
Cinnamon is a handsome tree and, although frost sensitive, is reasonably well suited to growth in south Florida. Those who would consider growing this plant to produce spice should be apprised of the fact that the spice consists of the inner bark. In other words, the tree must be severely pruned back to accommodate spice production. The leaves and fruits are aromatic and lend themselves to various uses.
GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION Members of the Cinnamomum genus are widely distributed throughout the world’s warm regions. However, true cinnamon is probably native to Sri Lanka. Other closely related species are native to Southeast Asia, primarily China and Vietnam. Cinnamon was used in Chinese medicine prior to 2500 B.C. In Florida, it may be grown as far north as Palm Beach County. The tree suffers serious damage if the temperature drops to 28° F.