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Ellitaria cardamomum Photographed September 18. Lexington, South Carolina. Elegant textures and a spice you can use on Special Care: Plant in regular garden soil to slightly Vietnamese Pho night. What more can you ask of an dry spots. It will tolerate heavy wettish soils, but in tough, pest free plant that looks great in sun or shade? those, it’s tough to get the roots out for cooking! Adapted to sun or shade but most elegant and useful with light shade. Flowering Time: Rarely flowers in our climate. This is a foliage and root plant-- you will not get cardamom pods in Zone 8. (In the photo above, tea olive flowers Gardening Tips: Simply cut these to the ground have fallen onto the leaves.) after hard cold-- in December or so. An organic mulch in winter provides nutrients & a bit of winter protection. Foliage: Long, formally arranged leaves are green from mid-spring until late fall. Growth Rate: Fast but looks best after some years when it’s had time to create a mass. Ultimate Height: 4 to 5 feet.

Suggested Combinations: Use cardamom to fill a dark corner and create bold foliage gardens. It makes a great foil, relieving some of the stiff, formalness of plants such as gardenia or camellia. Few things can actually be interspersed in it. But try red alligator flag to make a huge, tropical-esque statement.