Amomum subulatum or black cardamom is related to the more common green cardamom, both spices from the ginger family. Black cardamom is native to the Himalayas and has one of the longest histories of human usage of any spice. It resembles its relatives Hedychium and Zingiber with red stems and long, lance-shaped tropical leaves. The white or yellow flowers form in clusters at the base of the stems eventually producing the seeds that are ground as a spice. The seed pods are used in similar dishes as green cardamom, particularly in India and Pakistan, though only in savoury dishes as the seeds are traditionally dried over an open flame that imparts a smoky flavour. Grow as a potted plant and protect in winter. Your friends won't have this as a houseplant! Photo: Wikipedia.
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