Ocotea quixos seeds, "Ecuador Cinnamon"
Ocotea quixos belongs to the family of the Lauraceae and is native to Ecuador and Columbia. The bark of O. quixos is used to produce the so called “Ecuador Cinnamon”. Traditionally the natives gave the Ecuador cinnamon to their dead family members. Today Ecuador Cinnamon is used for cooking in its home country but it never got an important spice worldwide.
O. quixos is mainly used as ornamental plant.
O. quixos grows as a tree and has simple, lanceolate, small leaves. They are dark green and glossy. The flowers are small and whitish.
The fruit is a berry which gets 3 to 5 cm long. It is green and gets dark green when it is ripe. The fruit includes just one seed. The fruits are eaten by big birds for example toucans and the seeds get distributed in that way. The cupule that surrounds the fruit is used in Ecuador to flavor several drinks.
O. quixos is diecious that means one needs a female and a male plant for reproduction. O. quixos grows very slow during the first 3 years. The oil of the plant shall have an anti-inflammatory effect. There is ongoing research about that. The oil is made of the female plant.