Plant Guide > Spices > Grains of Paradise spice

Grains of Paradise spice


A herbaceous plant that belongs to the same family with ginger and native of western tropical Africa yields the spice known as grains of paradise (Amomum melegueta). The plant attains a height of 5 or 6 feet and bears leafy stems and spikes of showy flowers on trailing shoots which rise from the rootstocks.

The seeds are used as a substitute for pepper. The product is also employed in veterinary medicine and for flavoring wine, vinegar, and cordials. Grains of paradise come upon the market chiefly from the Gold Coast.