AMO'MUM n. [Gr.]

A genus of plants; all natives of warm climates, and remarkable for their pungency and aromatic properties. it includes the common ginger or zingiber, the zerumbet, zedoary, cardamom, and granum paradisi or grains of paradise. The roots of the three former, and the seeds of the two latter, are used in medicine as carminatives and stimulants, and in cookery as condiments. They are important articles of commerce.

True amomum is a round fruit, from the East, of the size of a grape, containing, under a membranous cover, a number of angular seeds of a dark brown color, in three cells. Of this fruit, ten or twelve grow in a cluster, adhering without a pedicle, to a woody stalk. It is of a pungent taste and aromatic smell, and was formerly much used in medicine, but is not a stranger to the shops.