True cardamom or Green cardamom is a plant in the ginger family. The green seed pods of the plant are dried and the seeds are used as a spice, sometimes whole but often as a ground powder.
Cardamom is commonly used in Indian and other Asian food. It is an ingredient in Indian curries. In some countries it is used to flavor coffee or tea, cakes and bread.
Basic information and facts
India, Nepal, South East Asia (e.g. Thailand, Vietnam) and Central America (e.g. Costa Rica).
Annual, biennial, or perennial:
Green cardamom is a perennial plant.
Flowers grow in a spike that can be 30-60 cm long. They are white, lilac or pale violet.
The plant has alternate and lanceolate leaves with a long pointed tip. Leaves can be 40 to 60 cm long.
Cardamom fruit is a three-sided yellow-green pod that is 1 to 2 cm long. Pods contain several black and brown seeds.
Climate and weather:
Cardamom grows in tropical climates.
Plants can be 2 to 4 meters tall.
Cardamom can be propagated vegetatively (from rhizome cuttings) or by seedlings.
Cardamom plants usually start bearing capsules after three years. Capsules are hand picked, usually at 30 days intervals. Cardamom capsules with green color are most expensive.
Green seed pods are dried and the seeds are used as a spice, either whole or as a ground powder. Cardamom is an ingredient in Indian curries and is sometimes used to flavor coffee, tea, cakes and bread. It is often used in Indian and other Asian food.