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Agriculture > Spices > Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)
Crop Management


Two varieties of cardamom plants are identified, and they are Elettaria cardamomum Maton, variety Major composed of wild indigenous types of Sri Lanka and Elettaria cardamomum Maton, variety Minor comprising of cultivars like, Mysore, Malabar and Vazhukka. These types are grown in different tracts and are mostly identified on the nature of panicles, size of plants and other morphological characters. Cardamom varieties are highly location specific. High yielding varieties of cardamom released include ICRI 1,2,3:TDK 4 &11;PV 1,PV 2, CCS 1 Mudugiri 1;NCC 200; MCC 12,16 & 40. ISSR Vijetha is resistant to Katte disease and is reccomended to moderate rainfall with moderate to high shaded Mosaic (CMV) infected areas. IISR Avinash is resistant to Rizhome Rot and is highly suitable for planting in village.  


Cultivar Malabar

•  These cardamom plants have medium size and attain 2-3 m height on maturity.

•  The dorsal side of leaves may be pubescent or glabrous.

•  The panicles are prostrate and the fruits are globose to oblong shaped.

•  Better suited to areas of 600 to 1200 m elevation.

•  Relatively less susceptible to thrips.

•  It can thrive under low rainfall and seasonal rainfall conditions.

•  This type is mostly cultivated in Karnataka and to a lesser extent in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Cultivar Mysore

•  Plants are robust and attain 3-4 m height.

•  The leaves are lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate or glabrous on both sides.

•  The panicles are erect and the capsules are ovoid bold and dark green in colour.

•  Better adapted to altitudes ranging from 900 to 1200 m from MSL

•  Thrive well under assured, well-distributed rainfall conditions.

•  Mostly cultivated in Kerala and in certain pockets of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Cultivar Vazhukka

•  This is considered to be the natural hybrid of Malabar and Mysore types and consequently, the plants belonging to this group exhibit various characteristics intermediate to Mysore and Malabar types.

•  The plants are robust like Mysore type.

•  Leaves are deep green, oblong-lanceolate or ovate, panicles are semi-erect (pendent) in nature and capsules are bold globose or ovoid in shape.

•  Extensively cultivated in Kerala and Tamil Nadu at elevations ranging from 900-1200 m above MSL.


High yielding varieties and selections

Selection/ varieties Cultivar Special distinguishing characteristics Area of adaptability Source Yield potential
ICRI-1 Malabar An early maturing profusely flowering variety, medium sized panicle with globose extra bold dark green coloured capsules South Idukki zone of Kerala, where the rainfall is well distributed ICRI (Spices Board) Myladumpara, Idukki, Kerala - 685 553 656
ICRI-2 Mysore Performs well under irrigated conditions. Suitable for higher altitude. It has medium long panicles oblong bold and parrot green capsules (Tolerant to azhukal disease) Vandanmedu and Nelliampathy of Kerala and Annamalai and Meghamalai of Tamil Nadu. - do - 766
ICRI-3 Malabar Early maturing type, non-pubescent leaves, oblong bold, parrot green capsules. It is tolerant to rhizome rot disease. Cardamom growing tract of Karnataka. Regional Station: (ICRI) (Spices Board) Saklespur, Karnataka – 573 134 790
TDK-4 Malabar An early maturing variety adaptable to low rainfall area. Medium size panicle, globose bold parrot green capsules. Non-pubescent leaves. Adapted to lower Pulney Hills of Tamil Nadu. Suitable for low rainfall area (1500 mm) and having similar agro-ecological conditions Regional Station ICRI (Spices Board) Thadiankudisai Tamil Nadu - 624 212 961
TDK-11 Malabar An early maturing variety, Long panicle, oblong bold and parrot green capsules. Adapted to less rainfall conditions of Lower Pulney Hills of Tamil Nadu. - do - 890
PV-1 Malabar An early maturing variety with slightly ribbed light green capsules. Short panicle, close racemes, narrowly ellipsoid to elongate capsules. All cardamom growing tracts in Kerala and parts of Tamil Nadu Cardamom Res. Station of Kerala Agrl. University, Pampadumpara Kerala-685 556 500
PV-2 Vazukka An early maturing, unbranched, lengthy panicle, long bold capsule Higher altitude Cardamom Res. Station of Kerala Agrl. University, Pampadumpara Kerala-685 556 1250
CCS-1 Malabar An early maturing variety suitable for high density planting, long panicle, oblong bold, parrot green capsules All Cardamom growing tracts of Karnataka and Wyanad of Kerala. Indian Institute of Spices Research, Regional Centre (ICAR) Appangala, Karnataka - 571 201 1156
Mudigere-1 Malabar Compact plant, suitable for high density planting. Tolerant to hairy caterpillars and white grubs. Short panicle, oval bold, pale green capsules. Tolerant to thrips and shoot borer, pubescent leaves. In the traditional cardamom growing Malnad areas of Karnataka Regional Res. Station, University of Agrl. Sciences, Mudigere, Karnataka - 577 132 1000
NCC-200 (Njallani) Vazhukka Non-pubescent, semi erects, globose extra bold and dark green capsules. Suitable to Kerala tracts Private nurseries in Idukki district, Kerala -
MCC-12 Vazhukka Semi-erect panicles and dark deep green capsule suitable under sparse shade condition Oblong capsules suitable under sparse shade condition of Kerala ICRI, Spices Board, Myladumpara, Idukki - 685 553 620
MCC-16 Vazhukka Profusely branched compound and semi-erect panicle. Globose green capsules recommended for irrigated or swampy areas. Adaptable to Kadamkuzhy and Udumbanchola zones of Kerala - do - 650
MCC-40 Vazhukka An early bearing variety, globose bold and green capsules. Suitable to all cardamom growing tracts of Kerala - do - 443 (Rainfed)

Newly released varieties from regional research station, Mudigere

Mudigere-2 : It is also a Malabar type and clonal selection, released during 1994, the average yield of M-2 is 475 kg/ha, with non-pubescent leaves and panicles are not compact with good quality capsules.

P6 : This clone having recorded higher dry matter accumulation and leaf area index consistently over years, is found promising as a drought tolerant clone.

CL-730 and CL-692 : New Cardamom clones selection from germpalsm collection were found promising by recording 1.57 and 1.53 kg of green capsule yield per clump respectively as against Mudigere-1 (1.2 kg) and Mudigere-2 (1.4kg). The clones CL-692 have been proposed for farm trials during 2001-02.

CL-D-237 : A new clone developed from open pollinated seedling progenies was found promising. The average yield of green capsule per clump was 1.80 kg as against 1.40 kg in Mudigere-2 and 1.20 kg in Mudigere-1.

Among the several clones studied, clone Mudigere-1 exhibited relatively low genetic variability. Hence, seedling progenies of this clone could still be used when clonal material is not available for scale planting.

Varieties released from Indian Institute of Spices Research

Name Average yield kg/ha (dry) Essential oil, % Dry recovery, % Terpenyl acetate, % 1.8 cineole, %
Coorg cardamom -1 409 8.7 22 37.0 42.0
Suvasini 745 8.7 22 37.0 42.0
Avinash 847 6.7 20 34.6 30.4
Vijetha -I 643 7.9 22 23.4 44.9


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