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CAPSICUM annuum 'Aji Colorado'

Image of Capsicum annuum 'Aji Colorado' (Longum Group)

James H. Schutte

Family

Solanaceae

Botanical Name

CAPSICUM annuum 'Aji Colorado'( Longum Group)

Plant Common Name

Aji Colorado Chile, Hot Pepper

General Description

A baccatum-type chili pepper, 'Aji Colorado' produces quantities of slender, red, fiery-hot fruits on large bushy plants. It derives from Capsicum baccatum var. pendulum, a short-lived perennial that has long been cultivated in uplands of western South America.

The flat-topped, waist-high plants bear thin, oval, medium-green leaves on stiff, spreading stems. Star-shaped, creamy-white flowers with green centers appear in warm weather, followed by pendent, narrowly conical, glossy 4-inch (10-cm) fruits with thin, pungently flavored, bright red flesh. The hollow, chambered interior is divided by spongy ribbing that holds many small, flattened, rounded seeds. Most of the heat comes from the pithy ribs, inner lining and seeds of the pepper, so keep this in mind when cooking with them.

Full sun, ample spacing, and fertile well-drained soil are required for this pepper variety to grow and produce well. It is relatively tolerant of cool, wet conditions, compared to Capsicum annuum varieties. Harvest of 'Aji Colorado' peppers begins about 90 days after seedlings are planted. The fruits can be sliced up fresh into sauces, stews, and relishes, or dried for later use. Harvest continues until hard frost, or into winter in frost-free conditions. Vascular wilts and fungal diseases can be a problem in subpar conditions, although most baccatum peppers exhibit comparatively high virus-resistance.

Pinch off early flower buds to encourage stronger branching and roots. Heavily fruiting plants may break apart under the weight if not staked for support. Harvest ripe fruit daily to encourage new blossoms to form. Wear gloves and safety glasses when slicing hot peppers.

Hot peppers get their heat from the compound capsaicin – the higher its concentration, the hotter the pepper. Capsaicin concentration is measured and expressed in Scoville units. The Scoville rating of 'Aji Colorado' is 30,000, as hot as a "mild" tabasco chili. For more information about the Scoville Scale see http://www.chilliworld.com/FactFile/Scoville_Scale.asp

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vegetable

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    18"-30" / 45.7cm - 76.2cm

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Green, Ivory

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Fruit Color

    Red, Orange Red, Chocolate

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Black

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No