Sunday, August 7, 2016

Mysterious Cardamom

July 31, 2016

Are these green cardamom pods? Have not been able to find pictures of fresh cardamom at this stage that look like these. What variety of cardamom are these. The mystery continues. Stay posted for updates as I get confirmation. I will dry these cardamom pods and let you know. I transplanted what I remembered as either the Green or Black Cardamon plants that I had purchased from Walter Anderson Nursery, into the ground of my Temecula garden about almost 3 years ago. This past May, the plant started flowering. Long buds rose from leaf stalk, ending the sword like sheath that enclosed the flowers to be.  

You could see the white pink tinged flower within. I was not sure what the flower would look like. Bit by bit the sheath opens to reveal that it would not be one single flower but a series of individual flowers.

About this time I was starting to doubt that the plant actually was. I had some trouble identifying and relating the flowers to be of the Cardamom plant I saw on the internet. Time and lack of labelling contributed to the confusion. I had purchased on that same trip to Walter Anderson Nursery, some Galangal, Black Cardamom and Green Cardamom plants. They lived, strived and possibly a couple of them died in my San Diego garden ..... until I decided to move them to my Temecula garden. Hence, I was not 100 percent certain it was a Cardamom plant. I reached out to Facebook Gardening groups I belong to and a member from India confirmed that it was indeed Green Cardamom as she had the same plants in her garden.

Once fully freed of the flower sheath, the individual flower buds opened to reveal a yellow tongue streaked with red streaks. Beautiful !!
The base of the flowers began to swell forming the Cardamom pods. Very few pods formed possibly because of the heat wave Temecula was experiencing. Many of those flowers that did set fruit also dropped....I was told by the same Facebook garden group member from India, that her plants too did not set many fruits. She had in fact reduced the quantity of plants, keeping mainly for the beautiful foliage. That's good is for me if it came to that but I am not giving up yet. Until the plant started flowering, I had been using the young cardamom leaves for Asian salad and dishes especially Nasi Ulam.

The petal started drying to a gorgeous burnt orange color. 

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