Backhousia myrtifolia

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Cinnamon myrtle
Cinnamon myrtle flower and leaf.jpg
Backhousia myrtifolia, leaf and flower
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Backhousia
B. myrtifolia
Binomial name
Backhousia myrtifolia
  • Backhousia australis G.Benn. nom. inval.
  • Backhousia riparia Hook. & Harv.

Backhousia myrtifolia is a small rainforest tree species which grows in subtropical rainforests of Eastern Australia. B. myrtifolia is also known as carrol, carrol ironwood, neverbreak, ironwood or grey myrtle, or Australian lancewood. Cinnamon myrtle is a spice form of B. myrtifolia.

Backhousia myrtifolia can grow up to 30 metres. The leaves are ovate or elliptic, 4–7 cm long, with a cinnamon-like odour. Flowers are star-shaped and borne in panicles.

Essential oil[edit]

The name 'cinnamon myrtle' was originally coined in the late 1980s to describe a specific elemicin variant used as a flavouring spice. However, the name 'cinnamon myrtle' is now 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).

External links[edit]

  • Plant profile, including cultivation requirements [1]


  • Floyd, A.G., Rainforest Trees of Mainland South-eastern Australia, ISBN 0-909605-57-2.
  • APNI Australian Plant Name Index