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Plant Informational Database

Cardamom

Elettaria cardamomum

a.k.a. Cardamon

Herbaceous perennial related to ginger. Ornate white-purple-yellow flowers are followed by small fruits containing seeds with aromatic oils. The seeds are processed and are an important spice.

Seed Availability

Seeds are not available for the Cardamom. Please visit our seed store to view current selections. Seeds were last available in May 2014.

Description

Herbaceous shrub to 7-10ft.

Hardiness

Hardy to about 32F.

Growing Environment

There are a number of false cardamoms, but the true cardamom is a subtropical or tropical shrub preferring warm temperatures and year-round water. Plants may quickly reproduce from rhizomes if given adequate space. Will take very brief frosts, but plants also grow well in warm, humid areas. All plant parts are aromatic.

Propagation

By seeds or division of rhizomes.

Germination Info

Cardamom seeds are unfortunately difficult to germinate. Storage life is limited. Plant seeds 1/2-1" deep in moist, sterile soil. Keep soil temperature at 70-85F for best germination. Don't over water soil and allow the soil surface to begin to dry before re-watering.

Uses

Seeds are dried, ground, and used as a food flavoring. Cardamom is an important economic crop and is a highly valued spice. After drying, seeds tend to lose their taste and aromaticity quickly, therefore full seeds are the preferred use.

Native Range

Native to Southern India and Sri Lanka.

Related Species

Zingiberaceae  
Alpinia caerulea
Blue Fruited Ginger
Alpinia zerumbet
Shell Ginger
Elettaria cardamomum
Cardamom