Posts tagged ‘C.baccatum’

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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. baccatum varieties

Ají is the name given to most (if not all) of the C. baccatum varieties.

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C. baccatum

Some facts on this species (from Floridata, etc.):

  • Capsicum baccatum (“berry-like”) probably originated in northern Argentina and Bolivia.
  • Most of the peppers cultivated and eaten in South America belong to this species. These are usually called ají when fresh (with a fruity flavor), and cusqueño when dried. They are rarely found outside of South America.
  • The plants are tall (1.5-2.5 m) with large dark green leaves.
  • C. baccatum is distinguished from the other species by the flower corollas being white with distinctive dark green or brown spots, and anthers being yellow or tan, with prominent teeth on the calyx.
  • Many of the ajís will not flower until days have only 12 hours of daylight.
  • Pods are usually erect and become pendant as they mature.
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