Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
James H. Schutte
CAPSICUM frutescens 'Calcutta'
This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.
Very hot, spicy and colorful fruits are produced on tabasco pepper variety 'Calcutta'. The slim, 3-inch-long (8 cm) fruits are usually held upright on the leafy branches. The seeds of these peppers may be dried and roasted and then pulverized to make cayenne pepper spice. However, any dried red pepper (regardless of species) today is colloquially known as a cayenne pepper.
Tabasco pepper is believed to have origins in northern South America, with native peoples domesticating it centuries ago and widely cultivating it farther north in Central America. 'Calcutta' is a cultivar selected in India.
Calcutta tabasco pepper is a tropical subshrub that is evergreen, but often grown as a herbaceous warm-season annual. The glossy green, oval leaves cover the branching plant. Small white to pale green flowers occur during the warm months. Small, narrow, pointed fruits develop after insect pollination. Fruits are initially pale green but orange and finally a deep shade of red at maturity. Tabasco peppers are rich in capsaicin, the compound that makes their seeds and flesh taste so hot. The hotness is measured in scaled units called Scoville units (Scoville Scale: http://www.chilliworld.com/FactFile/Scoville_Scale.asp). 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.
Grow 'Calcutta' in full sun and a fertile, moist but well-drained soil enriched with organic matter. Grow it in the vegetable patch. Sow seeds indoors eight weeks before the last spring frost date in your region. Transplant the seedlings outside about two weeks after the final frost. Pepper plants relish heat and humidity, and demonstrate some drought tolerance.
12 - 4
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
Full Sun, Partial Sun
24"-40" / 61.0cm - 101.6cm
18"-30" / 45.7cm - 76.2cm
Central America, South America
Spring, Summer, Fall
White, Light Green
Yellow, Red, Orange, Dark Red, Light Green
Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Tropical
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