Botanical name: Amomum subulatum Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)
Synonyms: Cardamomum subulatum
Black Cardamom is an evergreen plant that grow up to 5 ft tall. Leaves are found on the upper portion of the stem. The old stems die down after a few years. The rhizomes are a dull red colour. Flower buds appear in spring from the base of the rhizome. The peduncle is short and the buds encased in tight red bracts. Flowers appear from spring through mid summer. Individual flowers stay open for three days and more and new ones open successively. An inflorescence stays in flower for over a month. Its seed pods have a strong camphor-like flavor, with a smoky character derived from the method of drying. The pods are used as a spice, in a similar manner to the green Indian cardamom pods, but with a different flavor. Black Cardamom is farmed in the Eastern Himalayas in Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan at an altitude of 500-2000m, This species inhabits cool forest areas near mountain streams and damp forest floors.
Identification credit: Bharat Pradhan
The flower labeled Black Cardamom is ...