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Cinnamon bark, Pepper cinnamon
Canella winterana
Canellaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Accent or specimen shrub or small tree in coastal areas.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

A relatively common sub-canopy tree in coastal hammocks in the Florida Keys and the shores of Florida Bay.
Availability:
Native plant nurseries.
Description:
Small tree or large shrub with a broadly rounded crown. Trunks to 10 inches in diameter, but usually much smaller. Bark light gray, broken into short, thick scales. Leaves dark green above, shiny, 2-5 inches long, aromatic when crushed.
Dimensions:
Typically 15-20 feet in height; to 29 feet in South Florida. Usually taller than broad.
Growth Rate:
Slow.
Range:
Monroe, Miami-Dade and Collier counties; West Indies, Mexico and the Bay Islands of Honduras. Very rare on the mainland along the extreme southern coast to about Everglades City. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.
Habitats:
Coastal hammocks.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained limestone or calcareous sandy soils, with humusy top layer.
Nutritional Requirements:
Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Moderate; tolerates brackish water or occasional inundation by salt water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.
Drought Tolerance:
Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun to light shade.
Flower Color:
Red petals with yellow anthers.
Flower Characteristics:
Semi-showy clusters with green and purple buds and red flowers.
Flowering Season:
All year; peak spring-summer.
Fruit:
Red berry.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides food and cover for wildlife. Nectar plant for Schaus' swallowtail (Heraclides aristodemius) and other butterflies.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed.
Comments:
The crushed leaves have a spicy fragrance. In the 1700s, the inner bark was exported from the West Indies to Europe as a substitute for cinnamon. The outer bark is toxic. It is listed as endangered by the state of Florida.


 


Keith A. Bradley
George D. Gann
George D. Gann
in habitat, Dominican Republic, 2011
Shirley Denton
Keith A. Bradley
Keith A. Bradley
Roger L. Hammer