James H. Schutte
CAPSICUM annuum 'Chinese Five Color'( Conoides Group)
Plant Common Name
Chinese Five Color Ornamental Chile, Ornamental Chili Pepper
This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.
The fiery hot and appealingly colorful fruits of the cone pepper ‘Chinese Five Color’ are both beautiful and edible. The plants are upright and produce moderately-sized, erect, conical peppers that appear singly, not in clusters. The very hot fruits start out purple and progress to cream, yellow, orange and finally red when mature. Ornamental peppers are generally edible, but care must be taken with plants grown at nurseries for ornamental purposes; they may have been treated with pesticides or other chemicals not suitable for edible plants. Plants take 85 days to produce fruit after planting from seedlings.
Native to tropical America, peppers are warm season annuals that have been grown and selected by Native Americans since pre-history times. Cone pepper ‘Chinese Five Color’ plants are bushy well-branched with rigid, brittle stems and thin, narrow, dark green and purple leaves. Their flowers are inconspicuous, five-petaled, purple and give way to cone-shaped peppers. On the interior they are divided by spongy ribbing which supports many small, flattened, rounded seeds.
Cone pepper fruits are often hot and those of ‘Chinese Five Color’ are very hot, young fruits are sharper and mature are sweeter in taste. Their heat is produced by a chemical called capsaicin measured in Scoville units against the Scoville scale. The purer the capsaicin, the hotter the pepper and the higher the Scoville rating. 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.
Peppers are warm season vegetables that are easy to grow, if you can provide them with the correct conditions. Full sun, warmth, regular feeding and fertile, perfectly drained soil are required for good growth and fruit production. Peppers generally take 60 to 90 days to harvest. Some vascular wilts, tobacco mosaic virus and fungal problems can befall them, but overall they are not needy. Proper spacing will keep diseases at bay and help with fruit production, so plant according to the grower’s guidelines.
These peppers are ornamental too; enjoy them as bedding or container plants as well as vegetable garden standards.
For more information about the Scoville Scale see http://www.chilliworld.com/FactFile/Scoville_Scale.asp