16 Best Spice Plants in India

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Last Updated: 10.01.2024
Sakshi Kasat
Written by
Sakshi Kasat, an indoor gardener and content creator from Indore, India, transitioned from teaching to follow her gardening passion during the pandemic. She's an expert in indoor gardening, with over 150 articles published. Her favorite plant, the Peace Lily, reflects her mission to inspire others. In gardening and writing, she finds pure inspiration and contentment.

Here are the aromatic treasures that enrich Indian cuisines, let’s discover the flavorful Spice Plants in India

Learn about the amazing Spice Plants, where kitchens come alive with aromas and flavors. From the warmth of cinnamon to the boldness of black pepper, these botanical wonders add taste to dishes and carry cultural significance. Read more to know about each spice plant and discover the culinary magic.

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Best Spice Plants in India

1. Cinnamon

Spice Plants

Botanical Name: Cinnamomum Verum

Popular for its sweet along with warm flavor, Cinnamon is harvested from the inner bark of trees. The trees, reaching up to 30 – 49 feet in height, have smooth, pale brown bark and oval-shaped leaves, contributing to the distinct aroma and taste of this beloved spice.

2. Black Pepper

Botanical Name: Piper Nigrum

Black Pepper, famous for its bold and pungent taste, comes from the dried berries of the pepper plant. This climbing vine can grow up to 20 – 33 feet, featuring glossy green leaves and slender spikes of tiny flowers, making it a versatile spice in global cuisines.

3. Cardamom

Spice Plants 2

Botanical Name: Elettaria Cardamomum

Its unique sweet with citrusy flavor is derived from the seeds of the cardamom plant’s pods. Standing around 6-15 feet tall, the plant boasts large, lance-shaped leaves and produces clusters of small, aromatic flowers, adding a fragrant touch to spice blends.

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4. Turmeric

Botanical Name: Curcuma Longa

Famous for its earthy along with slightly bitter taste, it comes from the rhizomes of the turmeric plant. With broad green leaves and striking yellow flowers, this herbaceous plant reaches a height of about 3-5 feet, contributing flavor and bright color to culinary creations.

5. Vanilla

Spice Plants 3

Botanical Name: Vanilla Planifolia

Vanilla, renowned for its sweet and aromatic flavor, is derived from the cured beans of the vanilla orchid. The climbing vines of the vanilla plant, with glossy green leaves and fragrant white flowers, can grow up to 33-49 feet, creating an appealing addition to spice gardens.

6. Cumin

Botanical Name: Cuminum Cyminum

Cumin, with its warm and nutty flavor, is extracted from the seeds of the cumin plant. The plant, growing to a height of about 1 to 2 feet, features finely divided, feathery leaves and small, pink or white flowers, imparting a distinctive taste to a variety of cuisines.

7. Coriander

Spice Plants 4
viveirocariri

Botanical Name: Coriandrum Sativum

Coriander, offering a citrusy and slightly sweet taste, is obtained from the dried seeds of the coriander plant. This herb, reaching around 2 to 3 feet in height, showcases delicate, lacy leaves and small, umbrella-like clusters of white or pink flowers, contributing freshness to dishes.

8. Nutmeg

Botanical Name: Myristica fragrans

Nutmeg, famous for its warm and slightly sweet flavor, is derived from the seeds of the nutmeg tree’s fruit. The evergreen tree, growing up to 65 feet tall, has dense foliage, and elliptical leaves and produces yellow flowers, showcasing the rich and aromatic nature of this spice.

9. Cloves

Spice Plants 5

Botanical Name: Syzygium Aromaticum

Cloves, known for their strong and sweet flavor, are dried flower buds of the clove tree. This evergreen tree boasts leathery leaves, fragrant pink flowers, and clusters of aromatic buds. It also adds depth to both savory and sweet dishes.

10. Fenugreek

Botanical Name: Trigonella Foenum-Graecum

Fenugreek, with its slightly bitter and nutty taste, comes from the small, brown seeds of the fenugreek plant. This annual herb, growing to around 2 to 3 feet, displays trifoliate leaves and white or yellow flowers. It also contributes a unique profile to spice blends and curry dishes.

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11. Ginger

Spice Plants 5

Botanical Name: Zingiber Officinale

Popular for its warm and spicy flavor, it comes from the rhizomes of the ginger plant. This perennial herb, standing around 3 to 4 feet tall, features lance-shaped leaves and clusters of fragrant flowers. It adds zing to both culinary and medicinal applications.

12. Mustard

Botanical Name: Brassica Nigra

Mustard seeds come from the mustard plants and offer a pungent and tangy taste. Brown mustard plants can grow up to 5 – 7 feet and have lobed leaves, while black mustard plants reach similar heights with deeply divided leaves, contributing bold flavors to various cuisines.

13. Saffron

Spice Plants 6

Botanical Name: Crocus Sativus

Saffron, popular for its rich with aromatic taste, is derived from the stigma of the saffron crocus flower. The small perennial plant, standing around 4 to 6 feet tall, displays slender, grass-like leaves and produces distinctive purple flowers. It makes it a highly precious spice plants.

14. Bay Leaf

Botanical Name: Laurus Nobilis

Their subtly aromatic and earthy flavor comes from the leaves of the bay laurel tree. This evergreen tree, reaching 40 to 50 feet height, showcases glossy green leaves and clusters of small, yellow flowers, adding a distinctive fragrance to soups, stews, and sauces.

15. Asafoetida

Spice Plants 7

Botanical Name: Ferula Assa-Foetida

Famous for its strong and pungent flavor, this comes from the resin of the asafoetida plant. This perennial herb, growing to about 8 – 10 feet, features large, fleshy roots and clusters of yellow flowers, contributing a unique umami taste to various dishes, especially in Indian cuisine.

16. Allspice

Botanical Name: Pimenta Dioica

With its warm and aromatic flavor, it is a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. It comes from the dried berries of the allspice tree. This evergreen tree reaches heights of 10 -12 feet. It also showcases glossy green leaves with small, white flowers. That’s why making allspice a versatile addition to both sweet along with savory dishes.

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