Black cardamom's scientific name is Amomum subulatum. It grows in pods on an herbaceous plant belonging to the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family. The pods have a tough, dried, wrinkly skin, are roughly one inch in length, and house small, sticky, dark-colored seeds. Black cardamom has a pungent aroma with a citrus and eucalyptus flavor.
When using green cardamom, it is recommended that the seeds be removed from the pods and ground before adding to recipes. The black cardamom pods are best when added whole to a recipe and removed before serving.