Cinnamon, a tropical evergreen tree, related to the laurel. The bark is the source of a spice (also called cinnamon) and contains cinnamic aldehyde, an oil that is extracted and used as a flavoring, in medicine, and in perfume. The finest quality cinnamon comes from the Ceylon cinnamon, which is native to Sri Lanka. Another tree, the Chinese cinnamon, or cassia tree, which is grown in Indonesia, Indochina, and China, produces a spice with a bitter flavor. Most of the cinnamon sold in the United States is a blend of the two spices.
Young shoots of the cinnamon tree are cut and the bark peeled twice a year. New shoots then grow on the stump. The bark is rolled into quills, a trade term for cinnamon sticks. The spice may be ground or sold as sticks.
The Ceylon cinnamon is Cinnamomum zeylanicum; the Chinese cinnamon, or cassia tree, is C. cassia. They belong to the laurel family, Lauraceae.Cinnamon is an aromatic spice prepared from the dried inner bark of a cinnamon tree.