Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants

Herbs - Medicinal plants usage and Identification Data base

Get Adobe Flash player

Cinnamomum zeylanicum - TWAK

Cinnamomum zeylanicum – TWAK

 


 

Cinnamomum zeylanicum - TWAK.jpg

 

 

Cinnamomum is a genus of evergreen aromatic trees and shrubs belonging to the Laurel family, Lauraceae. The species of Cinnamomum have aromatic oils in their leaves and bark. The genus contains over 300 species, distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of North America, Central America, South America, Asia, Oceania and Australasia. The genus Cinnamomum includes a great number of economically important trees.

Habitat

They are leafy canopy trees to understorey trees or shrubs in lowland rainforest to high elevation in wet evergreen montane tropical rainforests, in laurel forest habitat generally between 600 and 2000 m.

Lauraceae are common in wet forest from sea level to the highest mountains, but are poorly represented in areas with a pronounced dry season. Cinnamomum need a ecosystem of high humidity, type cloud forests. cinnamomum is present about tropical or subtropical mountains, where the dense moisture from the sea or ocean, is precipitated by the action of the relief, causing it to condense part of the moisture that falls as rain or fog, creating an habitat tropical or subtropical especially cool, saturated with moisture in the air and soil. With no seasonal changes Some Cinnamomum species will survive short frosts and temperatures to 32F, but most species should be protected from hard freezes and prolonged cool weather. Cinnamomum need climate wetter, but with an annual oscillation of the temperature moderated by the proximity of the ocean. Soil need to be ever wet. The natural habitat is forest which are cloud-covered for much of the year. Areas with high humidity and stable and mild temperatures, in a climate regime with well defined seasons, but lacking in sharp contrast. This type of habitat is found in laurel forest habitats. they are vigorous species with a great ability to populate the habitat that is conducive, forests of cool temperate zones in montane tropical or subtropical forest. This genus is present in Himalayas and other mountain areas and is present in tropical and subtropical montane rainforest, in the Weed-tree forests, in valleys, mixed forests of coniferous, and deciduous broad-leaved trees, from southern China, India, and Southeast Asia.

In the Indian Central Himalaya, the Cinnamomun laurel trees falls within the broad-leaved forests; sub-montane deciduous forests, mid-montane deciduous forests; and high-montane mixed stunted forests. The tree species growing to high altitude forests between 1500–3300 m. The upper limit of forests ranges from 3000 to 3300 m. Three taxa are commonly found at tree line: an evergreen, needle-leaved gymnosperm (Abies pindrow Spach.), an evergreen, broad-leaved sclerophyllous oak (Quercus semecarpifolia Sm.), and a deciduous, broad-leaved birch (Betula utilis Don). Vernal flowering is common at this elevation in Central Himalaya. In general, in their elevational distribution and structural-functional attributes, these high altitude forests are similar to other forests of cool temperate zones in Himalaya.

Scientific classification

Kingdom:

Plantae

(unranked):

Angiosperms

(unranked):

Magnoliids

Order:

Laurales

Family:

Lauraceae

Genus:

Cinnamomum
Schaeff.

Species

See text.

Synonyms

Characteristics

All species tested so far are diploid, with the total number of chromosomes being 24.[1] This Lauraceae genus comprises more than 270 trees and shrubs and most are aromatics Some trees produce sprouts. The thick, leathery leaves are dark green, lauroide type. Laurophyll or lauroide leaves are characterized by a generous layer of wax, making them glossy in appearance, and narrow, pointed oval in shape with an apical mucro, or 'drip tip', which permit the leaves to shed water despite the humidity, allowing perspiration and respiration from plant. Plants of the laurel forests must adapt to high rainfall and humidity. The trees adapted by developing leaves that repel water.

Mostly the plant present an odour distinct. Alternate leaves are ovate-elliptic, margin entire or occasionally repand, with acute apices and broadly cuneate to subrounded base. Upper leaf surface is shiny green to yellowish green, while the underside is opaque and lighter in color. Mature leaves are dark green. Young leaves reddish brown to yellowish red. The leaves are glabrous on both surfaces or sparsely puberulent beneath only when young; the leaves mostly triplinerved or sometimes inconspicuously five-nerved, with conspicuous midrib on both surfaces. The axils of lateral nerves and veins are conspicuously bullate above, dome-shaped. Terminal buds perulate.

The axillary panicle is 3.5–7 cm long. It is a genus of monoecious species. Hermaphrodite flowers, greenish white, white to yellow are glabrous or downy and pale to yellowish brown. Mostly small flowers. The perianth is glabrous or puberulent outside and densely pubescent inside. The purplish-black fruit is an ovate, ellypsoidal or subglobose drupe. The perianth-cup in fruit is cupuliform. A dark-purple fruit, the berry or drupe.

 

Important Links

Medicinal plants of India ; Ayurveda

Encyclopedia of Indian Medicinal Plants/Herbs mainly using in Ayurveda with good quality pictures and information like therapeutic usage of Medicinal Plants, cultivation, morphology, habitat, flower characters, Chemical content, parts used, research works etc.

medicinal plants

ayurvedic treatments