This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(East Indian name). Zingiberaceae. Cardamon. Hothouse perennial herbs, sometimes seen in collections of economic plants.
Differs from Amomum in technical characters, as in the slender tube of the perianth, the presence of internal lobes in the perianth, and the filaments not prolonged beyond the anther. Probably only 1 species, although more have been described. E. Cardamdmum, Maton (Cardamomum officinale, Salisb. Amomum Cardamdmum, Linn.), affords the small or true cardamons of commerce, which are the dried capsules and which are used in medicine. Species of Amomum yield other kinds of cardamon. The elettaria is native to India, but is cult, in Jamaica, and it will no doubt thrive in parts of S. Fla., where plants have been offered. The cardamon plant grows 5-10 ft. high, bearing a curving jointed, closely sheathed stem and oblong-lanceolate acuminate entire nearly sessile leaves often 2 ft. long: rootstock horizontal: flowers purple-striped: caps oblong or nearly globular, with many thin vertical ribs, indehiscent; seeds small, angled. Gt. 62, p. 93. It is said to prefer shade and a moist soil. In three or four years plants give full crops, but they become more or less exhausted after bearing three or four crops. Prop, by dividing the roots and by seeds. Under glass, handled the same as Alpinia. l. h.