Cardamom, a pseophytic breed hailing from the family Zingiberaceae under Monocotyledons in natural order Scitaminae. Elettaria cardamomum Maton, is the scientific name for the few cardamom genus of plants which are native to South India and Sri Lanka. Its growth and longevity favoured by the shade of evergreen forests prevalent in these regions. The growth of cardamoms is proliferated through tissue culture plantlets, suckers and seeds. The plant takes around 20-22 months to ripe after plantation of seeds through polybags or rhizomes. The plant is ready for economic harvest on the third year after plantation and continues to yield spice generally biannually upto 8-10 years while the total life span of cardamom plants varies between 15 to 20 years.
Broadly two diversities of cardamom plants are distinguished based on the location of their plantation.They are Elettaria cardamomum Maton variety Major comprising the wild species native to Sri Lanka and Elettaria cardamomum Maton variety Minor including the genera like Mysore, Malabar and Vazhukka. These classifications are done based on their morphological attributes, size and type of panicles.
Diverse research institutions pursuing advanced investigations on crop enhancement and further progress are harnessing the various facets of quality cardamom produce and have been able to identify selected breed of clones facilitating prolific cropping of above 250 Kg/ha (rainfed). These seedlings are successfully acclimatised for cultivation as per their agro-climactic seasoning.