Canna-Fruit Cardamom
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Canna-Fruit Cardamom
P Native Photo: S. Jeevith
Common name: Canna-Fruit Cardamom
Botanical name: Amomum cannicarpum    Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)
Synonyms: Cardamomum cannicarpum, Elettaria cannicarpa

Canna-Fruit Cardamom is a rhizome forming her with leafy stem 2-3 m high, erect, straight, loosely clumped. Rootstock is horizontal, much branched, reddish outside, light pink inside. Leaves are 26-41 x 6-11 cm, oblong-lanceshaped, tapering, hairless, nearly stalkless, lower leaves smaller; ligule 1 cm long, round, reddish. Spike 1-few, 6-15 x 4-7 cm, obovoid; flower-cluster-stalks covered with imbricating bracts; basal empty bracts 3.5 cm long, ovate, blunt, formed into sheath at base, reddish brown; bracteoles 2 cm long, tubular. Flowers are 1-2 in a bract; sepals blunt; ptals equal, 2 x 1 cm, blunt, hairless. Capsule is spherical, 2-3.5 x 1.5-3.5 cm, densely covered with stiff bristles, spine tip slightly curved, dark maroon, has some resemblance to Canna fruit. Seeds are many, angular, 5-7 x 3-5 mm, black, aromatic, arillate. Canna-Fruit Cardamom is endemic to Southern Western Ghats (Kerala and Tamil Nadu).

Identification credit: S. Jeevith Photographed in Sholas, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu.

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