Posts tagged ‘C.annuum’

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Chili pepper plant identification – pods

First, a disclaimer: the characteristics described below are generalizations – there are always exceptions; hence, they must be taken in connection with other identifying traits. The more distinguishing characteristics are highlighted. Also, I am focusing here on the five main species of the Capsicum genus; there are many others, though not as common/popular.

SPECIES

PODS

C. annuum 


C. baccatum 


C. chinense 


C. frutescens 


C. pubescens 


Calyx (junction of pod with stem): without  constriction at junction with stem (though sometimes irregularly wrinkled) without  constriction at junction with stem (though sometimes irregularly wrinkled) usually with constriction at junction with stem without constriction at junction with stem (though often irregularly wrinkled) without constriction at junction with stem
Calyx teeth: often prolonged into short teeth prolonged into prominent teeth not prolonged into teeth usually not prolonged into teeth prolonged into teeth
Fruit: usually erect and become pendant as they mature pointy and erect usually pear- or apple-shaped
Fruit flesh: usually firm (soft in certain varieties) firm firm often soft firm
Seeds: straw-colored straw-colored straw-colored straw-colored dark in color
Examples: C. annuum pod C. baccatum podC. baccatum pod C. chinense podC. chinense pod C. frutescens podC. frutescens pod C. pubescens pod
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Chili pepper plant identification – flowers

First, a disclaimer: the characteristics described below are generalizations – there are always exceptions; hence, they must be taken in connection with other identifying traits.  The more distinguishing characteristics are highlighted.  Also, I am focusing here on the five main species of the Capsicum genus; there are many others, though not as common/popular.

SPECIES

FLOWER

C. annuum C. baccatum C. chinense C. frutescens C. pubescens
Pedicels (flower stems) at each node: solitary (occasionally in clusters) solitary two or more (occasionally solitary) solitary (occasionally in clusters) solitary
Pedicels (flower stems) during blossoming: usually declining erect or declining erect or declining erect but flowers nodding erect but flowers nodding
Corolla (petal) color: milky/creamy-white (occasionally purple), without spots white or greenish-white, with distinctive scattered dark green, brown or yellow spots at base greenish-white (occasionally milky/creamy-white or purple), without spots greenish-white, without spots purple (occasionally with white margins and/or white base), without spots
Corolla (petal) shape: usually straight usually slightly rolled backward at the edge usually straight often slightly rolled backward at the edge usually straight
Anther (pollen sack) color: purple and white yellow or tan purple purple purple and white
Examples: C. annuum flowerC. annuum flower C. baccatum flowerC. baccatum flower C. chinense flower C. frutescens flower C. pubescens flowerC. pubescens flower
purple and white
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C. annuum – the name

Name results from northern latitude growers treating this species as an “annual” growing plant, (even thought the plant is a perennial).” – ChileHead

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Chili origins and migration

‘Mexico and northern Central America are believed to be the birthplace of C. annuum, and South America of C. frutescens. These were first introduced to South Asia in the 16th century and have now become the two most important species in the region. Few could have imagined the impact of Columbus’ discovery of a spice so pungent that it rivalled the better known black pepper native to South Asia. India is now the largest producer of chilis in the world.’ – PlantCultures

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C. annuum

Floridata et al provide the following facts about this species:

  • Capsicum annuum (“annual”) is by far the most important pepper species everywhere except South America. It is the most extensively cultivated throughout the world, and because it cross-pollinates so easily there are probably thousands of varieties in existence.
  • C. annuum probably originated in Central America and Mexico.
  • The flowers are usually solitary, and usually creamy white with no spots.
  • C. annuum used to be divided into two categories: sweet (or mild) peppers, and hot chili peppers. However, modern plant breeding has removed that distinction as hot bell varieties and sweet Jalapeños have now been cultivated.
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