CAPSICUM annuum 'De Arbol'( Longum Group)
Plant Common Name
Chile Pepper, De Arbol Chile
The slender, fiery-flavored fruits of this Mexican heirloom pepper are an essential element of chili-pepper garlands and red-hot salsas. The name 'De Arbol' (which translates to "of the tree") refers to the plant's tall, gaunt habit.
First cultivated and selected by Native Americans thousands of years ago, peppers are bushy, brittle-stemmed annual vegetables with thin oval leaves and small five-petaled flowers. The dull-white blooms of 'De Arbol' are followed by pendent, narrowly conical, 2.5-inch (6-cm) fruits with thin, fiery-hot, smoky-flavored flesh that ripens from green to red. The hollow, chambered interior of each fruit is divided by spongy ribbing that holds many small, flattened, rounded seeds, which are hotter than its flesh.
Full sun, warmth, ample spacing, and fertile well-drained soil are required for peppers to grow and produce well. Harvest of red-ripe 'De Arbol' peppers begins about 90 days after seedlings are planted. The fruits are excellent for slicing fresh into salsas, soups, and stir-fries, or for drying 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.
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 'De Arbor' is 15,000 to 30,000 units, several times hotter than a jalapeno. For more information about the Scoville Scale see http://www.chilliworld.com/FactFile/Scoville_Scale.asp