Elettaria cardamomum cardamomon Zingiberaceae
Cardamom is a rather typical looking ginger plant except that it is huge, standing as much as 12 ft ( 3.7 m) tall. Thick, fleshy rhizomes give rise to erect shoots that bear two rows of linear-lance-shaped leaves each about 2 ft (0.6 m) long. The leaves are smooth and dark green above, silky and paler beneath. They taper to an acute point. The inflorescences develop on separate, horizontal stems that spread along the ground.  The fruits are thin-walled, smooth-skinned, oblong, greenish capsules about 3/4 in (1.9 cm) long. Each contains 15-20 aromatic reddish brown seeds.
Location
It occurs in the under story of tropical rain forests at elevations of 2500 - 5000 ft (762-1524 m), where it rains about 150 in (381 cm) per year. Culture
Light: Cardamom grows in filtered shade.
Moisture: Cardamom grows with its roots continually wet. It needs constant moisture. It does okay if the rain stops for a short period, once in a while!
Propagation: Cardamom usually is propagated by division of rhizomes.

Country of Origin: India zone 10a, 10b, 11
Extraction Method: Steam distilled from the seeds
Main constituents
The content of essential oil in the seeds is strongly dependent on storage conditions, but may be as high as 8%. In the oil were found α-terpineol 45%, myrcene 27%, limonene 8%, menthone 6%, β-phellandrene 3%, 1,8-cineol 2%, sabinene 2% and heptane 2%. (Phytochemistry, 26, 207, 1987)
Other sources report 1,8-cineol (20 to 50%), α-terpenylacetate (30%), sabinene, limonene (2 to 14%) and borneol.
In the seeds of round cardamom from Jawa (A. kepulaga), the content of essential oil is lower (2 to 4%), and the oil contains mainly 1,8 cineol (up to 70%) plus β-pinene (16%); furthermore, α-pinene, α-terpineol and humulene were found.
 

 

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