Cinnamon Myrtle (Backhousia myrtifolia)
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Cinnamon myrtle, is a spice form of Backhousia myrtifolia. This small rainforest tree species grows in subtropical rainforests of Eastern Australia. B. myrtifolia is also known as carrol, carrol ironwood, neverbreak, ironwood or grey myrtle.
B.myrtifolia can grow up to 30 metres, but is more often a shrub or small tree. The leaves are ovate or elliptic, 4-7 cm long, with a cinnamon-like odour. Flowers are star-shaped and borne in panicles. The small papery fruit are bell-shaped.
The name ‘cinnamon myrtle’ was coined in the late 1980s to identify the elemicin essential oil variant as being especially suitable for flavouring. However, the name ‘cinnamon myrtle’ is also used to describe the species in general.
Cinnamon myrtle is part of a group of related Myrtaceae family members that were popularized as spices in Australian bushfood cuisine in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This group of plants also includes lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) and aniseed myrtle (Syzygium anisatum).
Categories: Myrtales stubs | Bushfood | Myrtales of Australia | Myrtaceae | Australian cuisine