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CAPSICUM annuum 'Medusa'

Image of Capsicum annuum 'Medusa' (Fasciculatum Group)

James H. Schutte

Family

Solanaceae

Botanical Name

CAPSICUM annuum 'Medusa'( Fasciculatum Group)

Plant Common Name

Medusa Ornamental Pepper, Ornamental Pepper

General Description

The bright red, orange or yellow peppers of 'Medusa' lend outstanding bedding color to the summer and pre-frost fall garden. This ornamental pepper variety is compact and produce lots of colorful fruits that are spicy when eaten but tend to be grown for looks rather than flavor.

Peppers originate from the tropical Americas, so they are well adapted to heat, humidity and some drought. They are annuals that produce bushy plants with rigid, brittle stems and thin, often broad, dark green leaves. Their flowers are inconspicuous, five-petaled and white.

The upright, narrowly conical peppers of 'Medusa' often ripple and twist, mimicking the snaked head of the Greek mythical namesake. Fruits are green when immature but progressively turn yellow to orange and finally red. On the interior they are lined with spongy ribbing which supports many small, flattened, rounded seeds. The majority of the fruit’s heat comes from the inner lining, ribs and seeds, so cook peppers whole if you want to impart their flavor without adding any spice.

Green fruits have a sharper taste and mature are sweeter. The heat is produced by a chemical called capsaicin, which is measured in scaled units called Scoville units. The purer the capsaicin the hotter the pepper and higher the Scoville rating. The pepper’s seeds and inner lining carry more heat than the flesh of the fruit.

Peppers are warm-season vegetables that are easy to grow if provided full sun, warmth and fertile, perfectly drained soil. Regular feeding is required for good growth and fruit production. Medusa peppers generally take 72 days to develop after seedlings are transplanted outdoors after the threat of frost passes in spring. 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.

Scoville Scale: 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

    Vegetable

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    10"-14" / 25.4cm - 35.6cm

  • Width

    10"-12" / 25.4cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin, Mexico, Central America, South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    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, Light Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Red, Orange, Light Yellow, Ivory, Black

  • Fruit Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green, Black

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark 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

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Edging, Edible, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No