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A member of the Ginger family, Dwarf Cardamom (also known as Alpinia nutans and False Cardamom), is an evergreen clump forming plant growing to around 1 metre tall over a few years. It is not as vigorous as Wild Ginger and does not spread.
The leaves are highly aromatic, with a delicious cardamom/cinnamon/allspice flavour. These leaves can be used to flavour rice or curry dishes by adding one or two at the start of cooking and removing before serving, similar to Bay leaves.
They are a low maintenance plant tolerating dry or wet soils, full sun or shade, but they are happier with a bit of shade and some moisture. They prefer a warm spot but will recover from light frosts. We have our plants planted in the understorey of our food forests and they do well there.