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Cardamom

Zingiberaceae Elettaria cardamomum (L.) Maton.

Amomum cardamomum L.

Source: Magness et al. 1971

Both the above related species of tropical plants produce the cardamom seeds of commerce. Both are tropical, perennial herbs, the tops growing each year from underground rhizomes. E. cardamomum reaches 5 to 10 feet, with lanceolate leaves up to 2 feet long. The capsules are oblong to globular, ribbed and indehiscent. These dried capsules are the principal cardamoms of commerce. The seeds and plant of A. cardamomum are very similar to "grains of paradise" These seeds are also sold as cardamom.