List of Capsicum cultivars
There are five major species of Capsicum cultivars, and appear in many varieties. The hotness of the fruit is indicated in the Scoville scale, which ranges from no heat at zero to pure capsaicin at 16,000,000.
- Capsicum annuum, which includes bell peppers, cayenne, paprika, and jalapeños.
- Capsicum baccatum, which includes ají amarillo, ají limon and criolla sella.
- Capsicum chinense, which includes habanero.
- Capsicum frutescens, which includes tabasco.
- Capsicum pubescens, which includes rocoto.
- Capsicum praetermissum, which includes cumari.
Capsicum annuum is a popular species native to South America. It is cultivated worldwide. Despite being a single species, the capsicum annum has many forms, with a variety of names, even in the same language. In American English it is commonly known as the chili pepper, although not all varieties would be recognized by most speakers under this name. In British English, the sweet varieties are called peppers and the hot varieties chillies, whereas in Australian English the name capsicum is commonly used for bell peppers exclusively and chilli is often used to encompass the hotter varieties. Its forms are varied, from large to small, sweet to sour, very hot to bland.
The plant is a perennial subshrub, with a densely branched stem. The plant reaches 0.5–1.5 m (20–60 in). Single white flowers bear the fruit which is green when unripe, changing principally to red, although some varieties may ripen to brown or purple. While the species can tolerate temperate climates (where they are grown as an annual), they are especially productive in warm and dry climates.
Image Name Country Hotness Length Description Aleppo Syria and Turkey 15,000 SR Grown in Syria and Turkey and used, in coarsely ground, dried form, as a spice that is also called Aleppo pepper. Alma Paprika Hungary 10,000 SR A Hungarian pepper that is dried and ground to make spicy paprika. Anaheim USA 500 - 2,500 SR 15 cm (6 in) Smooth, narrow fruit first cultivated in northern Mexico and New Mexico, and later brought to California, from where it has received the most notoriety. Often used for chile relleno. When mature, takes on a red color and is referred to as a colorado. Banana 0 - 500 SR 15 cm (6 in) Often pickled and used as an ingredient in sandwiches; its flavor is not very hot. Its shape and color resembles a banana. Bell 0 SR 15 cm (6 in) Cultivar group of large rectangular fruit without noticeable heat. The ripe fruit can be red, yellow, green, orange, white, purple, blue, or brown depending on the specific cultivar. Cascabel Mexico 3,000 SR 2.5 cm (1 in) Small, round fruit that is usually dried and has a distinct nutty flavor. The name is Spanish for "rattle" or "jingle bell," and derives from the rattling noise made by the seeds inside the dried pod. Cayenne French Guiana 30,000 - 50,000 SR 12.5 cm (5 in) Long, thin fruit that was transported by the Portuguese to China and India, where it is used widely. Often dried and ground into powder. Cherry 3,500 SR 2.5 cm (1 in) Named for the fruit it resembles, this cultivar's fruit is small, red, and round. It is typically used fresh, or pickled and jarred, and is often used to stuff green olives. It is also called pimento. Chilaca 1,000 - 2,000 SR 15 cm (6 in) Popular in Mexican cuisine. Almost always encountered dried; in this state, it is referred to as a pasilla. The pasilla has a dark brown color and a smoky flavor. Chiltepin 50,000 - 100,000 SR 0.5 cm (0.2 in) Small, hot fruit that is often eaten by birds. The plant is thought to be the oldest member of the Capsicum genus. Evidence indicates that this has been consumed by humans as far back as 7,500 B.C. Chinese 5-color 3.5 cm (1.5 in) Starts out purple, then changes to white, yellow, orange and red. Similar to Bolivian Rainbow pepper and NuMex Twilight pepper. It is also called Chinese Multi-Color Pepper. Cubanelle 1 - 1,000 SR 12.7 cm (5 in) Medium thickness, tapered fruit that is green when unripe but turns red when mature. Often fried in Italian cooking. De árbol Mexico 15,000 - 30,000 SR 8 cm (3 in) Slender fruited cultivar grown primarily in Mexico. Name is Spanish for "from a tree." Fresno 2,500-10,000 SR 9 cm (3.5 in) Same species as the Jalapeño but is more ripe and has a higher vitamin content. Frequently used in ceviche and is one of the most frequently used chilies in salsa. Guajillo Mexico 2,500 - 5,000 SR Most often used in dried form to make a red sauce used for tamales. Guntur Sannam 35,000 - 40,000 SR It is well known as a commercial crop used as a condiment, culinary supplement or as a vegetable. Hungarian wax 2,500 - 8,000 SR Wide, semi-hot variety used in Hungarian cuisine. Frequently pickled. Also commonly dried, ground and presented as "Paprika." Italian sweet pepper Italy Used in Spanish cuisine. Jalapeño Mexico 2,500 - 8,000 SR 9 cm (3.5 in) Very popular, especially in the United States. Often pickled or canned. A smoke-dried ripe jalapeño is referred to as a chipotle. Shishito Japan Mirasol Mexico Macho Mexico New Mexico USA 4,500 - 5,000 SR Further more specific cultivars of Anaheim peppers, grown in the U.S. state of New Mexico. Typically, with a much higher heat than those grown in California, or elsewhere. Peter pepper USA and Mexico 5,000 - 30,000 SR 8-10 cm (3-4 in) Rare, heirloom-type hot pepper Pepperoncini Italy 100 - 500 SR 8 cm (3 in) Sweet-tasting and mild, is used extensively in Italian and Greek cuisine. Very frequently pickled. Pequin pepper USA and Mexico 100,000 - 140,000 SR Also spelled piquín. Poblano Mexico 1,000 - 2,000 SR 13 cm (5 in) Large, heart-shaped, dark green fruit that is extremely popular in Mexico. Often used to make chile relleno. When dried, referred to as an ancho or mulato. Puya aka Pulla 5,000 SR Capsicum annuum L., hot, medium-size, green to red, and tapered Serrano Mexico 10,000 - 23,000 SR 5 cm (2 in) Thin, tapered fruit that is green when unripe but turns red when mature. Due to its thin skin, it does not need to be peeled before use. Super Chili 40,000 - 50,000 SR Long, thin, and red Tien Tsin China 50,000-75,000 SR Grown and used in China.
These have a distinctive, fruity flavor, and are commonly ground into colorful powders for use in cooking, each identified by its color.
Name Hotness Length Description Ají amarillo 30,000 - 50,000 SR 7.5 cm (3 in) An aromatic, orange coloured fruit that is most popular in Peru. Often consumed raw in salsas and salads. Bishop's Crown A mild, oddly shaped, baccatum fruit that ripens to an orange or red. Also known as Monk's Cap among others Piquanté 1,000 - 2,000 SR 2 cm (1 in) Mild, Sweet and Tangy flavour, usable in many dishes. Brazilian Starfish A hot, red baccatum fruit known for its unusual star shape Wild Baccatum A small, round, wild hot pepper, C. baccatum var. baccatum, that turns from green to red
Capsicum chinense or "Chinese capsicum" is a misnomer since all capsica originate in the New World. Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin (1727-1817), an Austrian botanist, erroneously named the species in 1776, because he believed that they originated in China.
Name Hotness Length Description Ají dulce 0 SR Datil 100,000 to 300,000 SR A very hot chili; primarily grown in Florida. Fatalii 125,000-325,000 SR Madame Jeanette 100,000-350,000 SR Originally from Suriname. Habanero 100,000 - 350,000 SR 5 cm (2 in) Often (mistakenly) referred to as the hottest, the habanero is nonetheless hotter than most commonly available cultivars. The habanero has a subtle fruity flavour and a floral aroma. Bhut Jolokia 855,000 - 1,041,427 SR 6 cm (2.4 in) Cultivar that originated in Northeast India and was once confirmed by Guinness World Records to be the hottest pepper. It is an interspecies hybrid, largely C. chinense with some C. frutescens genes (see Naga jolokia) Scotch bonnet 150,000 - 325,000 SR 5 cm (2 in) Named because of its resemblance to a tam o'shanter, this fruit is closely related to the habanero and is similarly hot. Due to its heat and distinct flavour, it is often used in Caribbean cuisine.
Name Hotness Length Description African birdseye 50,000-175,000 SR 2.5 cm (1.0 in) Also known as Piri piri, commom In Portuguese, Mozambican and Angolan cuisines Bird's eye chili 50,000-100,000 SR 3.5 cm (1.37 in) Native to the Philippines, this is locally known as "Labuyo". It's very hot and is often mixed in sauce instead of mixing it in dishes. Its color ranges from green, orange to red. Tabasco 30,000-50,000 SR 4 cm (1.5 in) Native to Mexico, this fruit is now grown in large amounts in Louisiana by McIlhenny Company for the sauce of the same name. Thai 75,000 - 150,000 SR 4 cm (1.5 in) Thin fruit with a pointed tip. Often used in the cuisines of Southeast Asia, especially (as the name implies) Thailand.
Capsicum pubescens is among the oldest of domesticated peppers, and was grown up to 5000 years ago. It is probably related to undomesticated plants that still grow in South America (cardenasii, eximium, and others).
Name Hotness Length Description Rocoto 50,000 - 250,000 SR 6 cm (2.5 in) Round / square-shaped fruit with black seeds. Popular in Latin America, particularly in Bolivia and Perú. Used in salsas, raw, and for stuffing. In Bolivia it is commonly known as 'Locoto' and is used for the popular 'Llajwa'.
Capsicum praetermissum is wild hot pepper, bearing tiny fruits reminiscent of a pequin. Extremely aromatic and very fruity. The plant is uncommon and an interesting ornamental as well as edible, particularly for the pepper enthusiast.
- ^ "Pepper - Glossary - Cooking libraries - Cooking and recipes - Food & drink". Waitrose.com. http://www.waitrose.com/food/cookingandrecipes/cookinglibraries/glossary/glossary.aspx?type=0&id=250. Retrieved 2010-04-11.
- ^ "Chilli - Glossary - Cooking libraries - Cooking and recipes - Food & drink". Waitrose.com. http://www.waitrose.com/food/cookingandrecipes/cookinglibraries/glossary/glossary.aspx?type=0&id=92. Retrieved 2010-04-11.
- ^ http://wiw.org/~corey/chile/scoville.html
- ^ http://www.oocities.org/wstarron/capsaicinarticle12.htm
- ^ http://cubits.org/salsagarden/db/pepperdatabase/view/3171/
- G6CSY chile database: Used as source for information on various cultivars in this article.
- chillisgalore database: More can be found here.
- NMSU Chile Pepper Institute list of chile cultivars
Capsicum cultivars C. annuumAleppo · Anaheim · Ancho · Banana pepper · Bell pepper · Cascabel · Cayenne · Chilaca · Chiltepin · Cubanelle · De árbol · Dundicut · Fresno · Guajillo · Hungarian wax · Italian sweet · Jalapeño · Mirasol · Macho · Mulato · New Mexico (Anaheim) · Paprika · Pasilla · Peperoncini · Peter · Piquín · Pimento · Poblano · Puya · Serrano · Shishito · Tien Tsin C. chinense C. frutescens C baccatum C. pubescens
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