China, Sumatra, Ceylon and other parts of eastern Asia. This plant yields a cinnamon of commerce. Cinnamon seems to have been known to the ancient natives inhabitating the countries bordering on the Levant. It is the kinnamomon of Herodotus, a name which he states the Greeks learned from the Phoenicians. It is spoken of in Exodus, is referred to by Hippocrates, Dioscorides, Pliny and others of the ancient writers. The inner bark of the shoots is the portion used. Nearly every species of the genus yields its bark to commerce, including not less than six species on the Malabar coast and in Ceylon, and nearly twice as many more in the eastern part of Asia and in the islands of the Eastern Archipelago. Cassia bark resembles the true cinnamon but is thicker, coarser and not as delicately flavored. Both are used for flavoring confectionery and in cooking.
Cinnamomum culilawan Blume.
Malays, China, Moluccas and Cochin China. The bark of this species is said to have the flavor of cloves and is used as a condiment.
Cinnamomum iners Reinw.
Burma, Malays, tropical Hindustan and Siam. In India, the natives use the bark as a condiment in their curries. In southern India, the more mature fruits are collected for use but are very inferior to the Chinese cassia buds. Among the Ghauts, the bark is put in curries as a spice.
Cinnamomum loureirii Nees.
Cochin China and Japan. From the bark of this plant is made a cinnamon of which the finest kind is superior to that of Ceylon.
Cinnamomum nitidum Blume.
Java, Ceylon and India. This plant furnishes a spice.
Cinnamomum sintok Blume.
Malays and Java. The plant possesses an aromatic bark.
Cinnamomum tamala T. Nees & Eberm.
Himalayan region. This plant furnishes leaves that are essential ingredients in Indian cookery.
East Indies and Malays. This plant is largely cultivated in Ceylon for its bark. Its cultivation is said to have commenced about 1770, but the plant was known in a wild state long before. Herodotus says: "the bark was the lining taken from birds' nests built with clay against the face of precipitous mountains in those countries where Bacchus was nurtured." It has been cultivated for some time in Mauritius, the West Indies, Brazil and other tropical countries.
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.