CAPSICUM annuum 'Purple Flash'( Cerasiforme Group)
Plant Common Name
Ornamental Pepper, Purple Flash Ornamental Pepper
Grown primarily as an ornamental plant, the Purple Flash cherry pepper is noted for its dark-hued foliage, compact vigorous growth, and black marble-sized fruit. Like all culinary peppers, cherry peppers (known botanically as the Cerasiforme group) trace their origin to the American tropics, where they have been cultivated since pre-Columbian times.
The bushy, calf-high plants bear thin, oval, black-purple leaves on stiff brittle stems. New leaves are splashed with white and bright purple. Small, starry, purple flowers (rather than the typical white) appear in warm weather, followed by small, globular, glossy jet-black fruit. The fruits are edible but extremely hot. The hollow, chambered interior is divided by spongy ribbing which supports many small, flattened, rounded seeds, which are hotter than the fruit's flesh. Plants sold as ornamentals, such as 'Purple Flash', may have been treated with pesticides or other chemicals that render their fruits unsuitable for culinary use.
This warm-season vegetable grows easily in favorable conditions. Full sun, warmth, proper spacing, and fertile well-drained soil are required for good growth and fruit production. Vascular wilts and fungal diseases can be a problem in subpar conditions. Pepper plants are killed by frost, but can be short-lived perennials in tropical regions.
This cherry pepper makes an excellent choice for annual plantings and containers. Potted plants will often survive the winter in a warm sunny place indoors.
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