Cardamom, Elletaria cardamomum, is an herbaceous perennial in the family Zingiberaceae grown for its fruits which are used as a spice. Cardamom is a clumping plant with between 10 and 20 leafy shoots arising from the rhizome. The shoots are actually pseudostems composed of overlapping leaf sheaths. There are several additional flowering shoots. The leaves are lanceolate and dark green in color. The plant produces flowers on a long drooping pannicle and a capsule-like fruit which is triangular in cross section and initially pale green or yellow in color but dries to brown. The fruit contains 15–20 small aromatic seeds. Cardamom can reach a height of 5 m (16.4 ft) and has an economic lifespan of 10-15 years. Cardamom may also be referred to as green cardamom, black cardamom, brown cardamom, red cardamom or white cardamom and originates from southern India and Sri Lanka.
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