Genus of the Week
Week of October 12-18
This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the
context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of
all available Web resources for a particular genus.
If you like this page, you should also visit the Land of the Glandular Trichomes
, a microscopic look at plants in the Lamiaceae family.
This week's genus:
Number of Species: 1-2
Root: From the Middle English and Old French "canele", meaning cinnamon.
The genus Canella is made up of two species of tropical trees. The secretory cells that
release the volatile oils which give these trees their characteristic scent (terpenes, cineol,
eugenol) are located in the wood and other parenchymal cells. C. winterana, also called
C. alba (White Cinnamon), is used in Puerto Rico to make a substance that poisons fish.
Wild pigeons in Jamaica eat the fruit produced by Canella, and the meat of these birds is
said to be flavored by the plant.
Here are a few links to images and descriptions of different Canella species:
- C. winterana is one of the Native Plants of Florida. Click
here for a list of its medicinal uses.
- Visit Treezilla, if you dare!! Don't worry, this is just a giant phylogenetic tree
attempting to place the relationships of all angiosperms. See if you can find
Canella. Brought to you by James L. Reveal at the University of Maryland.
- Read the full text of
the C. alba entry in A Modern Herbal by Mrs. M. Grieves at Botanical.com.
- Check out the Ethnobot database for ethnobotanical information on
- Look for information about Canella as you scan
this page about the Canellaceae family. From a University of Kansas web site based on the
following source: Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M. J. (1992 onwards). `The Families of Flowering Plants: Descriptions,
Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval.' Version: 16th March 1997.
- Okay, so they aren't made with real Canella bark, but these "Canella" cinnamon nut stick
cookies sound really good. Check out the
- Grieve, M. (C. F. Leyel, ed.). A Modern Herbal. London, Tiger Books International: 1973.
- Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
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