CAPSICUM annuum( Conoides Group, PEPPA SERIES)
Plant Common Name
Peppa Ornamental Pepper
The colorful fruits of the cone pepper Peppa Series are usually grown ornamentals. The plants in the Conoides group usually have erect, conical fruits that appear singly and not in clusters. Ornamental peppers are generally edible but they are not often evaluated for hotness or flavor. Care must be taken with plants grown by nurseries for ornamental purposes; they may have been treated with pesticides or other chemicals not suitable for edible plants.
Native to tropical America, peppers are warm season annuals that have been grown and selected by Native Americans since pre-history times. Cone peppers are bushy well-branched plants with rigid, brittle stems and thin, often broad, dark green leaves. Their flowers are inconspicuous, five-petaled, white, yellow or purple and give way to cone-shaped peppers. Peppa Series plants produce peppers in wide range of color combinations including red/white, purple/orange, shades of red and white/orange/red depending on the selection. On the interior they are divided by spongy ribbing which supports 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.
Cone pepper fruits are often hot and those of the Peppa Series are variable in pungency, 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.
Peppers are warm season vegetables that are easy to grow, if you can provide them with the correct conditions. Full sun and warmth, fertile, perfectly drained soil and regular feeding 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