PLANTATIONS - Within the premises

On the way to and all around Munnar are rolling hills covered with manicured tea gardens, which are a treat to the eye. With footpaths that criss-cross, these green carpets formed by decades-old tea plants are smoothed out periodically by manual harvesting of the tender leaves. The elevation of this region, the climate and the soil are ideally suited for tea cultivation. Large areas are also under cardamom and coffee cultivation. The cardamom plants and coffee bushes are grown inside the Tall Trees Resort property and tea plantations can be seen in the vicinity of the property.


The dried mature fruit of Cardamom (Elettaria Cardamomum) is the most popular spice in the world. Its oil is used for flavouring foods and beverages, and in perfumes. The warm and slightly pungent aroma of Cardamom is appetising and pleasing in almost all cuisines and baked items. It is also an expensive spice as the demand for it is ever on the rise, while production is fluctuating and limited to a very small area in India and Guatemala, and few other countries on a still smaller scale.

Cardamom is a herbaceous perennial plant having subterranean rhizomatous stem with a tall (around 5ft) pseudostem formed by leaf sheaths. The plant has the characteristic fibrous root system of monocots and is very shallow in nature. Leaves are petiolate, distichous, linear and lanceolate. Flowers are bisexual, self fertile, zygomorphic, 4-5 cm long and 2 cm across. Individual flowers are large, attractive and exhibiting all characteristics required for entamophilous pollination consisting of the tabular calyx and three pale green petals. Inflorescence is a long panicle arising directly from the base of the pseudostem. Each panicle bears lateral racemes on which, flowers bloom sequentially from base to tip. The number of panicles varies from 2-4 per tiller.

The androecium consists of a single fertile stamen. Of the five others, one is completely absent, two modified into a labellum and the remaining two form staminodes. The filiform style protrudes through the groove between the anther lobes. Stigma is funnel-shaped, ciliated and the surface is sticky. Fruits are small, trilocular many seeded capsules. The capsules are fusiform to ovoid in shape and pale green to deep green in colour. Mature seeds are hard, brownish black and covered with thin mucilaginous aril inside the fruit wall. The flowers remain open for a period of 13-14 hours and stigma receptivity is high during morning hours. The flowers are often cross-pollinated but self-pollination is not uncommon.

Phenological studies indicate that irrespective of cultivars, the tiller produces vegetative buds and panicles on attaining 8 and 10 months growth respectively. Young panicles require 6-9 months to complete the flowering. Flowering-to-harvest stage of the capsule extends to about 120-130 days depending on the climatic conditions.

Typical plantations of the most popular variety of the cardamom can be seen in the high ranges. As the harvesting season is spread across the year for the modern varieties, various stages of maturing of the cardamom capsule can be observed and studied.


Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. The hard, semi-globular beans grow on bushes. They are husked, dried and powdered to get coffee powder. The white aromatic flowers of the coffee plant vie with any garden flower in beauty and fragrance.

Kerala and Karnataka are the largest coffee producing states in India. The price of coffee fluctuates according to European demand, which has not been very steady during recent years.

Tall Trees Resort cultivates the Arabica and Robusta varieties of coffee plants within its premises. The white flowers and green and red berries are a pleasing sight. Guests are welcome to observe the harvesting and processing of the coffee beans.