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CAPSICUM annuum 'Carmen'

Image of Capsicum annuum 'Carmen' (Longum Group)

James H. Schutte

Family

Solanaceae

Botanical Name

CAPSICUM annuum 'Carmen'( Longum Group)

Plant Common Name

Carmen Chile Pepper, Chile Pepper

General Description

The long, slender red fruits of 'Carmen' have a hot-pepper look, but their flesh is tender and sweet. Developed by Janika Eckert and Rob Johnston at Johnny's Selected Seeds, this 2006 All-America Selections Winner is one of numerous members of the Longum group, which encompasses poblanos, serranos, jalapenos, cayenne peppers and various other chilis. These annual vegetables descend from varieties that were grown and selected by Native Americans for thousands of years.

The bushy, knee-high plants bear thin, oval, dark green leaves on stiff brittle stems. Inconspicuous white flowers appear in warm weather, followed by pendent, narrowly conical, often crescent-shaped fruits with relatively thick crisp flesh that ripens from green to red. The sweet-flavored flesh intensifies in flavor as it reddens. The hollow, chambered interior is divided by spongy ribbing which supports many small, flattened, rounded seeds. Fruits may be harvested green or allowed to mature to full color.

This F1 hybrid grows easily in favorable conditions. Full sun, warmth, ample spacing, and fertile well-drained soil are required for good growth and fruit production. It also makes an ornamental and flavorful addition to container plantings. Harvest of green 'Carmen' peppers begins about 60 days after seedlings are planted, with fruits maturing to red about 15 days later. Harvest continues until hard frost, or potentially year-round in frost-free conditions. Vascular wilts and fungal diseases can be a problem in subpar conditions. 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. This sweet Italian pepper is delicious fresh or cooked.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • 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

    24"-30" / 61.0cm - 76.2cm

  • Width

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Mexico, Central America, South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Red, Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green, Black

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark 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, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No