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Genus of the Week

Week of October 12-18

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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:


Subclass: Dicotyledoneae
Superorder: Magnoliidae
Order: Magnoliales
Family: Canellaceae
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:


  1. Grieve, M. (C. F. Leyel, ed.). A Modern Herbal. London, Tiger Books International: 1973.
  2. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.

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