Botany

Cardamom is a bushy herb. The tuberous underground rhizome is its real stem and the aerial shoot is a pseudostem and formed by the encircling leaf sheaths. The leaves are distichous, long, alternate and lanceolate acuminate in shape. Flowers are borne on panicles and they emerge directly from the underground stem on long floral stalks. They are hermaphrodite and zygomorphic. The corolla is tubular, 3-lobed, pale green, androecium with petalloid labellum white in colour with pink or purplish veins, composed of three modified stamens with an undulated edge. There are two further rudimentary staminodes and one functional stamen. The fruit are tri-locular, ovoid or oblong, greenish-brown capsules containing about 15-20 seeds attached to axile placenta. Light reddish or dark reddish brown seeds are irregularily 3-sided, transversely wrinkled or furrowed and are covered by a membraneous aril. 

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