Description from Flora of China
Laurus cinnamomum Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 369. 1753; Cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume.
Evergreen small trees, up to 10 m tall. Bark black-brown, inner bark with cinnamic aldehyde flavor. Young branchlets gray, somewhat tetragonous, white-maculate. Buds sericeous-puberulent. Leaves usually opposite; petiole ca. 2 cm, glabrous; leaf blade greenish white abaxially, green and shiny adaxially, ovate or ovate-lanceolate, 11-16 × 4.5-5.5 cm, leathery or subleathery, glabrous on both surfaces, triplinerved, midrib and lateral veins elevated on both surfaces, transverse veins and veinlets reticulate, conspicuously foveolate abaxially, base acute, margin entire, apex acuminate. Panicle axillary or terminal, 10-12 cm; peduncle and rachis sericeous-puberulent. Flowers yellow, ca. 6 mm. Perianth tube obconical; perianth lobes 6, oblong, subequal, gray puberulent outside. Fertile stamens 9; filaments hairy near base, those of 3rd whorl each with 2 glands, others glandless; anthers 4-celled; cells of 1st and 2nd whorls introrse but those of 3rd whorl extrorse. Ovary ovoid, 10-15 mm, glabrous; style short; stigma discoid. Fruit ovoid, 10-15 mm, black when mature; perianth cup in fruit cupuliform, dilated, dentate, teeth truncate or acute at apex.
The dried bark is the source of the important spice cinnamon. It is used medicinally to treat stomachache. The bark and leafy branchlets contain volatile oil.
Cultivated. Guangdong, Taiwan [native to Sri Lanka; also cultivated in many countries in Asia].