James H. Schutte
CAPSICUM annuum 'Sante Fe Grande'( Longum Group)
Plant Common Name
Chile Pepper, Santa Fe Grande Pepper
The colorful, medium-hot fruits of 'Sante Fe Grande' are abundantly borne on tall, vigorous, virus-resistant plants. Also known as 'Caribe', this open-pollinated hybrid was introduced in 1965 by Petoseed Co., Saticoy, California.
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 'Sante Fe Grande' are followed by pendent, conical, 3-inch (7.5-cm) fruits with thick, tangy-flavored flesh that ripens from pale yellow to orange or red. The hollow, chambered interior of each fruit is divided by spongy ribbing that holds many small, flattened, rounded seeds, which are spicier than its flesh. Fruits may be harvested green or allowed to mature to full color and flavor.
Full sun, warmth, ample spacing, and fertile well-drained soil are required for peppers to grow and produce well. Harvest of red-ripe 'Sante Fe Grande' peppers begins about 80 days after seedlings are planted out, but peppers can be harvested green about 10 days earlier. Slice freshly picked fruits into salsas or stir-fries, or use them for pickling or for flavoring vinegar. Harvest continues until hard frost, or into winter in frost-free conditions. Vascular wilts and fungal diseases can be a problem in subpar conditions. This cultivar is resistant to tobacco mosaic virus.
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.
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 'Sante Fe Grande' is 5000 to 8000 units, equivalent to a hot jalapeno. For more information about the Scoville Scale see http://www.chilliworld.com/FactFile/Scoville_Scale.asp