cassia[kas̸h′ə, kas′ē ə]
- the bark of a tree (Cinnamomum cassia) of the laurel family, native to Southeast Asia: used as the source of a coarse variety of cinnamonin full cassia bark
- this tree
- the bark of a tree (Cinnamomum cassia) of the laurel family, native to Southeast Asia: used as the source of a coarse variety of cinnamon
- any of a genus (Cassia) of herbs, shrubs, and trees of the caesalpinia family, common in tropical countries: the pods of some of these plants have a mildly laxative pulp: from the leaves of others the cathartic drug senna is prepared
- cassia pods
- cassia pulp
Origin of cassiaMiddle English ; from Classical Latin ; from Classical Greek kasia, kind of cinnamon ; from Classical Hebrew (language) qeṣīʼāh, literally , something scraped off
- Any of various chiefly tropical or subtropical trees, shrubs, or herbs of the genus Cassia in the pea family, having pinnately compound leaves, usually yellow flowers, and long, flat or cylindrical pods.
- a. A tropical evergreen tree (Cinnamomum aromaticum syn. C. cassia) of East and Southeast Asia, having aromatic inner bark.b. The bark of this tree, often ground and used as a spice. It is the chief source of cinnamon in the United States.
Origin of cassiaMiddle English, from Latin casia, cassia, aromatic tree of the genus Cinnamomum, from Greek kasiā, kassiā, probably of Phoenician origin; akin to Hebrew q&schwa;&slowdot;īyâ, tree of the genus Cinnamomum yielding a spice inferior to cinnamon, probably ultimately of Chinese origin.
(countable and uncountable, plural cassias or cassiæ)
- (uncountable) The spice made from the bark of members of the genus Cinnamomum other than true cinnamon (C. verum), when they are distinguished from cinnamon.
- (countable) Such trees themselves, particularly the Chinese cinnamon, Cinnamomum cassia
- (countable) Any of several tropical leguminous plants, of the genus Cassia
- (countable) Any of several tropical leguminous plants, of the genus Senna
- (countable, in translation of Chinese) The sweet osmanthus (O. fragrans)
Cassia is typically marketed in American English as "cinnamon" but is typically distinguished from Sri Lankan cinnamon in Europe. The oil content of the bark of the Saigon cinnamon is actually superior to that of true cinnamon, but Chinese cassia and Indonesian cinnamon have somewhat less.
Sweet osmanthus and cassia were both formerly 桂 in Chinese and the character is often translated as "cassia", owing to its greater importance in modern international trade; however, it is generally the sweet-smelling osmanthus that is meant.
From Latin cassia ("cinnamon")