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CAPSICUM annuum 'Masquerade'

Image of Capsicum annuum 'Masquerade' (Longum Group)

James H. Schutte

Family

Solanaceae

Botanical Name

CAPSICUM annuum 'Masquerade'( Longum Group)

Plant Common Name

Masquerade Ornamental Pepper, Ornamental Pepper

General Description

The ornamental pepper 'Masquerade' produces upright clusters of showy flame-shaped chilis that change color as they mature. Although its fiery-hot fruits are edible, this cultivar was developed for ornamental use.

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 'Masquerade' are followed by erect, conical, 2.5-inch (6-cm) fruits that ripen from green to purple to yellow to orange to red. Plants are dense and compact.

Full sun, warmth, ample spacing, and fertile well-drained soil are required for peppers to grow and produce well. The fruits of 'Masquerade' reach full color about 90 days after seedlings are planted out. Use this compact-growing, showy-fruited ornamental pepper in containers, annual beds, and mixed borders for several months of warm-season color. Fruiting may continue 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. 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. Avoid planting this ornamental pepper where children might be tempted to sample the painfully hot fruits.

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. For more information about the Scoville Scale see http://www.chilliworld.com/FactFile/Scoville_Scale.asp

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

    Annual

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    10"-12" / 25.4cm - 30.5cm

  • Width

    8"-12" / 20.3cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Mexico, Central America, South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Red, Green, Purple, Orange, Light Yellow

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green, Black

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • 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

    Bedding Plant, Container, Cutflower, Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No