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Cinnamomum loureiroi - Nees

Common Name Saigon Cinnamon
Family Lauraceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Forests at low to medium elevations, occasionally ascending to 2,000 metres[ 785 ].
Range E. Asia - Vietnam.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Cinnamomum loureiroi Saigon Cinnamon

Cinnamomum loureiroi Saigon Cinnamon
Kayser Ahmad


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Saigon Cinnamon (Cinnamomum lourieroi), otherwise known as Vietnamese cinnamon and Vietnamese cassia, is an evergreen tree indigenous to Southeast Asia that has the highest amount of coumarin content among other species under the Cinnamomum genus. The bark and the essential oil obtained from it are both used as food flavouring. The bark, usually harvested from young branches is further used for baking and made into cordial. Unripe fruits are dried and sold as cassia buds for food flavourings. Medicinally, the dried bark is often used in association with other medicines as it is an astringent, carminative, stimulant, and stomachic.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Cinnamomum loureiroi is an evergreen Tree growing to 18 m (59ft) by 15 m (49ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


No synonyms are recorded for this name.


Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Fruit  Inner bark  Oil
Edible Uses: Oil

Edible portion: Bark, Spice, Flower Buds. The bark, and an essential oil obtained from it, are much used as a flavouring in a wide range of foods[ 301 ]. Highly esteemed in China and Japan, and considered by many to be superior to the more widely used cinnamon (C. verum)[ 301 ]. The bark is sweeter than cinnamon and is used for baking and is made into a cordial[ 238 ]. The bark is usually harvested from young branches[ 418 ]. The bark is peeled from the stems and branches and set aside to dry. Some varieties are scraped. While drying, the bark curls into quills. The colour varies from light reddish brown for the thin, scraped bark to grey for the thick, unscraped bark[ 418 ]. The unripe fruits are dried and sold as cassia buds, for use as food flavourings[ 301 ]. They have a cinnamon-like aroma and a warm, sweet, pungent taste akin to that of cassia bark[ 418 ].


Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The dried bark is aromatic, astringent, carminative, stimulant and stomachic[ 46 , 785 ]. It is often used in association with other medicines[ 785 ]. The bark contains around 2.5% essential oil, which is particularly rich in cinnamic acid[ 785 ]. Saigon cinnamon has 1-5% essential oil in content and 25% cinnamaldehyde in essential oil, which is the highest of all the cinnamon species.


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Other Uses


Other uses rating: Low (2/5). The bark contains 1 to 7% of essential oil[ 418 ].

Special Uses


Cultivation details

A plant of moist lowland areas in the tropics and subtropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,000 metres[ 418 ]. It grows best in areas where the mean annual temperature is 20 - 30°c, but tolerates 17 - 34°c[ 418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall of 2,500 - 3,000mm, tolerating 1,500 - 3,500mm[ 418 ]. It grows in areas with all year rainfall and also with a distinct dry season[ 418 ]. Prefers a fertile, sandy, moisture-retentive but freely draining soil in full sun or partial shade[ 200 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6.4, tolerating 4.5 - 8[ 418 ]. Harvest of superior bark cannot usually take place until the trees are at least 10 - 12 years old[ 418 ].


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Seed - the seed has a short viability and is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse[ 200 ]. Remove the fruit pulp since this can inhibit germination[ 200 ]. Germination can take 1 - 6 months at 20°c[ 164 ]. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible in containers[ 78 ]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions when 10cm or more tall. Cuttings of semi-ripe side shoots, 7cm with a heel, June/July in a frame with bottom heat[ 78 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Saigon Cinnamon (Cinnamomum lourieroi), otherwise known as Vietnamese cinnamon and Vietnamese cassia. Also known as: Vietnamese cassia, Baker's cinnamon, Vietnamese cinnamon and qu_ trˆ my, qu_ thanh, or " qu_ trˆ b_ng" in Vietnam. Nikkei, Nhucque, Que thanh, Saigon cassia, Saigon cinnamon, Yukgyenamu.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Found In: Asia, Australia, China, Indochina, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, SE Asia, Vietnam.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Cinnamomum camphoraCamphor, CamphortreeTree6.0 9-11 SLMHSNM234
Cinnamomum verumCinnamon, Ceylon Cinnamon TreeTree10.0 10-12 SLMHSNM433

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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