Introduction

This choice was inspired by an article in the SMH where the author swore that they would never use packet cinnamon again, after trying the real thing. They were talking about the slow-growing traditional cinnamon bark, so I started looking for alternatives.

Cinnamon Myrtle (Backhousia myrtifolia) is not one of the recommended plants for Byron, but it is a native of tropical rainforests in NSW and lower QLD, so it’s a good fit.
It’s a small tree, where the cinnamon comes from the leaves, not the bark.
It has lovely creamy flowers which then turn into star-shaped capsules.
It has naturally dense foliage and works well as a shade or screen.
Historically the leaves were used for cooking and for medicinal purposes.

Eating

The leaves are best harvested while young and tender while they are light green.
Leaves can be used in curries, stews and rice dishes, and anywhere that cinnamon is usually used.
The leaves make a calming medicinal tea, good for heartburn, colic and digestion.
Tea can be made from both fresh leaves and dried leaves.
Leaves should be rubbed or crushed, similar to the leaves of curry plants.

Growing

They can grow up to 10metres tall or pruned to 2m.
They take 2-3 years to flower.



Appearance

Type: Tree
Height: Tall
Leaf Size: Large
Foliage: Evergreen
Permanence: Perennial

Functions

Bush Tucker: Yes
Edible Flower: No
Uses: Spice, Tea, Medicinal
Fire Retardant: Unknown
Interest: High

Growing

Climate Zone: Subtropical, Warm Temperate
Planting Season: Spring, Autumn, Winter
Harvesting Season: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
Sun/Shade: Full Sun
Soil: Well Drained
Frost Tolerant: Yes
Time to Maturity: 2-3yrs
Watering Preference: Moderate