Cinnamomum cassia
Common Name: Chinese cinnamon tree 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Lauraceae
Native Range: East and southeast Asia
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 40.00 to 60.00 feet
Spread: 25.00 to 40.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Herb
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Fragrant, Evergreen


Best grown in evenly moist, well-draining soils in full sun to part shade. Young trees do best in part shade but as they mature can tolerate more sun. Hardy in tropical Zones 10-12. Will not tolerate prolonged exposure to sub-freezing temperatures. Can be grown in colder climates if overwintered indoors as a houseplant. Slowly acclimate overwintered plants to the outdoors in spring. Exposure to too much sun without acclimation will result in leaf scorch. Propagate through softwood cuttings, air layering, or seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cinnamomum cassia, commonly called Chinese cinnamon or cassia, is a medium sized, aromatic, evergreen tree native to the lowlands of southern China but cultivated throughout Southeast Asia. Mature plants will reach up to 60' tall with a 40' spread. The bark is grey-brown in color and will reach up to 0.5" thick. Most of the leathery, narrowly elliptic leaves will reach around 6" long and 2" wide, although some may reach upwards of 10" long and 3" wide. Small, white flowers bloom in axilary panicles and are followed by ellipsoid fruits that mature from green to dark black-purple.

Genus name comes from the classical Greek name for cinnamon.

The specific epithet cassia is a Latin term originating from the Greek kasia which itself originated from the Hebrew and Arameic ketza meaning "to cut". This is most likely in reference to the bark, which is striped off during harvest.

The common name cassia occasionally creates confusion with both the unrelated plant genus Cassia, and some members of the genus Senna which were formerly included under Cassia but are still commonly called cassias.


Susceptible to fusarium root rot, witches broom, and various fungal leaf spots. Thrips, gall-forming mites, and leafhoppers can also be problematic. Young trees are more likely to be seriously affected by pests and diseases compared to mature trees.


Accent specimen for tropical gardens. Can be grown in greenhouses in colder climates. Suitable for large containers, which can be overwintered indoors in colder climates. The bark and leaves of this species are highly aromatic and their essential oils are extracted and used to flavor a wide range of foods and beverages. Cinnamon oil is also an ingredient in many health products, soaps, candles, and other household items. The dried bark is widely used as a spice in baking and other culinary applications. It has a pungent, spicy and sweet flavor. The bark is removed from the tree, cut into segments and dried. During the drying process the bark segments curl and form quills which are then cut to the desired size and sold as cinnamon sticks. The dried bark is also commonly sold ground. Chinese cinnamon has a variety of traditional medicinal uses including the treatment of fevers, coughs, arthritis, and digestive issues.