The Capsicum Species

In the paragraphs that follow there is a brief discussion on the different varieties of Capsicum: that is hot chili peppers and sweet bell peppers that can be cultivated in a herb garden. On the whole these Sweet Bell Peppers and Hot Chili Peppers can be divided into several different capsicum species, but thousands of different varieties.

Capsicum frutescens

These Capsicums have purple or greenish white flowers. The well-known Tabasco and Bird type chilies are part of this species and the Tabasco sauce is probably the most well known product made from this capsicum species. All members of this capsicum species are highly pungent. The fruits tend to mature rather late and the capsicum plants itself is very branched with a high yield of small fruits. Capsicum frutescens has good ornamental appeal as well. If you are into cross cultivating capsicum then capsicum frutescens lends itself well to cross with Capsicum annuum chilies.

Capsicum annuum

This capsicum species includes all the most commonly cultivated chili includes varieties such as PaprikaSeranoPoblanoAnaheimJalapeño (Correctly pronounced halapeno), and Cayenne, as well as the sweet bell peppers.

Capsicum chinense

This capsicum species is well known for it produces the very hottest chilies with high levels of pungency such as Habanero and Scotch Bonnet. This capsicum species tends to be rather slow growing and matures quite late. The most well-known shape in this capsicum species is the rounded, lantern shaped peppers.

Capsicum baccatum

This capsicum species was originally a small berry like fruit, but nowadays includes long thin fruits as a result of selective breeding. Of the most well-known Capsicum baccatum species are the Pepper Bells or PeppadewCapsicum baccatum tends to produce large plants and is highly productive. However although highly productive, capsicum baccatum is not so willing to bear fruits during winter, even in hot areas. The flavor and aroma of capsicum baccatum is almost similar to that of capsicum chinense, but they will not cross well with each other.

Capsicum pubescens

This capsicum species has characteristically fine hairs on the underside of the leaves and stems of the plants, and has black seeds. Capsicum pubescence does not cross with other species of capsicum. They originate in the Andes Mountains and can tolerate climates that are very mild with little temperature variations. Capsicum pubescens fruit resemble little apples and packs quite a punch. Species such as Manzano is probably the most well-known example of Capsicum pubescens. This capsicum species sports flowers that are a beautiful shade of purple and seeds that are pitch-black. They are somewhat difficult to cultivate since they require specific climatic conditions.

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