Cardamom (or cardamon) refers to several plants of the similar genera Elettaria and Amomum in the ginger family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to India, Nepal and Bhutan; they are recognised by their small seed pods, triangular in cross-section and spindle-shaped, with a thin, papery, outer shell and small black seeds. Today, Guatemala is the biggest producer and exporter of cardamom in the world, followed by India. Some other countries such as Sri Lanka have also begun to cultivate it. Elettaria pods are light green while Amomum pods are larger and dark brown.
It is the world's third most expensive spice by weight, outstripped in market value only by saffron and vanilla.