Cardamom - plant profile
Cardamom is native to India and Sri Lanka where it occurs in the wild. It has been introduced all over all over tropical Asia where it is cultivated.
|Image: A cardamom plant growing at Kew Gardens.|
The plant grows in a thick clump of up to 20 leafy shoots. It can reach a height of between 2 to almost 6 m.
Leaves - dark green, long and sword-shaped. The underside is paler and may have a covering of tiny hairs.
Flowers - on a long flowering stalk which can grow to more than 1 m long. They are both male and female and are pale green. One of the petals is white and streaked with violet.
Fruits - pale green to yellow and elongated oval-shape. Each fruit has 3 chambers filled with small aromatic seeds, each about 3 mm long. The fruits and seeds dry to a straw-brown colour and are widely used as flavouring.