Cardamom, sometimes called cardamon (mostly in the UK), is a spice made from the seeds of several plants in the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to India, the largest producer until the late 20th century; Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Nepal, and Pakistan. 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.
The German coffee planter Oscar Majus Kloeffer introduced Indian cardamom to cultivation in Guatemala before World War I; by 2000 that country had become 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.