Elettaria cardamomum

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green cardamom
true cardamom
Elettaria cardamomum - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-057.jpg
True Cardamom
(Elettaria cardamomum)
1896 illustration[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Elettaria
Species: E. cardamomum
Binomial name
Elettaria cardamomum
(L.) Maton
  • Amomum cardamomum L.
  • Amomum repens Sonn., illegitimate superfluous name
  • Amomum racemosum Lam., illegitimate superfluous name
  • Alpinia cardamomum (L.) Roxb.
  • Cardamomum officinale Salisb.
  • Zingiber cardamomum (L.) Stokes
  • Matonia cardamomum (L.) Stephenson & J.M.Churchill
  • Cardamomum verum Oken, illegitimate superfluous name
  • Elettaria repens Baill., illegitimate superfluous name
  • Elettaria cardamomum var. minor Watt, not validly published
  • Cardamomum elletari Garsault, rejected name
  • Zingiber minus Gaertn.
  • Amomum ensal Raeusch.
  • Amomum uncinatum Stokes
  • Cardamomum malabaricum Pritz.
  • Cardamomum minus (Gaertn.) Kuntze
  • Elettaria cardamomum var. minuscula Burkill, without description

Elettaria cardamomum, common names green cardamom, true cardamom, is a species native to southern India. It is cultivated widely in tropical regions and reportedly naturalized in Réunion, Indochina and Costa Rica.[2][3][4][5]



Elettaria cardamomum is a pungent aromatic herbaceous perennial plant growing to 2–4 m in height. The leaves are alternate in two ranks, linear-lanceolate, 40–60 cm long, with a long pointed tip. The flowers are white to lilac or pale violet, produced in a loose spike 30–60 cm long. The fruit is a three-sided yellow-green pod 1–2 cm long, containing several black and brownseeds.


The green seed pods of the plant are dried and the seeds inside the pod are used in Indian and other Asian cuisines, either whole or in a ground form. It is the most widely cultivated species of cardamom; for other types and uses, see cardamom.

Cardamom pods as used as spice

Ground cardamom is an ingredient in many Indian curries and is a primary contributor to the flavour of masala chai. In Iran, cardamom is used to flavour coffee and tea. In Turkey, it is used to flavour the black Turkish tea, kakakule in Turkish.

As well as in its native range, it is also grown in Nepal, Vietnam, Thailand, and Central America. In India, the states of Sikkim and Kerala are the main producers of cardamom; they rank highest both in cultivated area and in production. It was first imported into Europe around 1300 BC.


  1. ^ Elettaria cardamomum - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen - Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen
  2. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ Larsen, K. (1996). A prelimanary checklist of the Zingiberaceae of Thailand. Thai Forest Bulletin (Botany) 24: 35-49.
  4. ^ Dy Phon, P. (2000). Dictionnaire des plantes utilisées au Cambodge: 1-915. Chez l'auteur, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
  5. ^ Nelson Sutherland, C.H. (2008). Catálogo de las plantes vasculares de Honduras. Espermatofitas: 1-1576. SERNA/Guaymuras, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.