- Scientifically classified as elettaria cardamomummatom
- It is a perennial plant that has no woody stem above the ground
- Ginger family and is a native of south India
- Cardamom is among the world’s oldest spices
- The third most expensive spice following saffron and vanilla
- It grows up to 2 to 4 meters in height
- Cardamom plants take about three years to bear fruit and are commercially productive for four to six years before yields decline
- There are three natural varieties of cardamom plants – malabar, mysore and hybrid vazhuka.
- Cardamom grows abundantly in altitudes ranging from 900 to 1370 m above sea level, with a warm humid atmosphere, evenly distributed rainfall and humus-rich loamy soil.
- Cardamom is propagated both vegetative and by seeds.
- India is the second largest producer of cardamom in the world with a production of 16000 tonnes in 2013 while the production by largest producer, Guatemala, in the same year was estimated at 38,000 tonnes.
- India is the world’s largest consumer market for cardamom
- Domestic production during 2015-16 is expected to be 22,000 Tonnes against a production of 18,000 tons in 2014-15.
- Karnataka produces about 1500 tons while Kerala is the biggest producer with 19,50 tons and 88.6% share of production.
- The auction prices of cardamom (small) during 2015-16 were at an average of Rs. 627.12 per kg sometimes going up to as high as Rs.985 per kg.