CAPSICUM annuum 'Fireworks'( Conoides Group)
Plant Common Name
Fireworks Ornamental Pepper, Ornamental Pepper
The colorful fruits of the cone pepper ‘Fireworks’ are highly ornamental. The plants are compact and the peppers erect, short, fat, conical and appear singly, not in clusters. The fruits are initially cream in color and turn to red when mature. Ornamental peppers are generally edible but they are not often evaluated for hotness or flavor. 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.
Native to tropical America, peppers are warm season annuals that have been grown and selected by Native Americans since pre-history times. The plants of 'Fireworks' are bushy and well-branched with rigid, brittle stems and thin light green leaves. Their flowers are inconspicuous, five-petaled, white and give way to squat 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 ‘Fireworks’ are reportedly hot; young fruits are sharper tasting and mature are sweeter. Their heat is produced by a chemical called capsaicin, which is 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