Cumin is the seed of a small umbelliferous plant. The seeds come as
paired or separate carpels, and are 3-6mm (1/8-1/4 in) long. They have a
striped pattern of nine ridges and oil canals, and are hairy, brownish in
colour, boat-shaped, tapering at each extremity, with tiny stalks
attached. They are available dried, or ground to a brownish-green powder.
It has a spicy-sweet aroma with pungent, powerful, sharp and slightly bitter flavour.
Cinnamon is a herbaceous, glabrous annual plant of the parsley family.
It usually reaches 25 cm (10 in) (some varieties can be double this
height) somewhat angular and tends to droop under its own weight.
The leaves are 5-10 cm long, pinnate or bipinnate, with thread-like leaflets. They are blue green in colour and are finely divided, generally turned back at the ends. The upper leaves are nearly stalk less, but the lower ones have longer leaf-stalks.
The flowers are small, white or pink, and borne in small stalked compound umbels with only four to six rays, each of which are only about 1/3 inch long, and bloom in June and July, being succeeded by fruit.
The fruit are oblong in shape, thicker in the middle, compressed laterally about 5 inch long, containing a single seed. The seed is uniformly elliptical and deeply furrowed.