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Tree 14–20(–30) m, 0.25–0.65 m dbh. Bark rigid, blackish brown or reddish brown with irregular, longitudinal fissures. Branchlets pale brown with convex lenticels, glabrous. Leaves evergreen, alternate, though inserted on the upper side of the branchlet, 7.5–9.5(–10) × 4–5(–6) cm, oblong to ovate or elliptic, papery or leathery, upper surface glossy yellowish green and glabrous, lower surface yellowish brown and glabrous, pinninerved with four to five pairs of lateral veins, margins cartilaginous and involute, apex short-acuminate; petiole 2–3 cm long, pale brown and glabrous. Inflorescence terminal or axillary, paniculate, 3–5 cm long, branching near the base. Flowers 2.5 mm long, white or purple-red and scented. Drupe ellipsoid and 1.5–2.2 × 1.5–2 cm, greenish; cupule urn-shaped, margins entire or undulate. Flowering July to August, fruiting October (China). Liao 1996b, Li et al. 2005. Distribution CHINA: Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Jiangxi; TAIWAN; VIETNAM. Habitat Lowland rain forest in valleys, on mountain slopes and along rivers and roadsides between 300 and 650 m asl (up to 1800 m asl in Taiwan). Cinnamomum micranthum almost always co-occurs with C. parthenoxylon. USDA Hardiness Zone 9–10. Conservation status Lower Risk, though susceptible to habitat degradation and loss.
Cinnamomum micranthum is still very rare in cultivation, but is commercially available in the United Kingdom. No large specimens have yet been recorded and it is not known how hardy the species will prove to be, but its large glossy leaves that flush pinkish orange make it well worth experimenting with.