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Capsicum annuum (Crerasiforme Group)

Phonetic Spelling
KAP-sih-kum AN-yoo-um
Description

The Cerasiforme Group of Capsicum annuum is the Cherry Pepper.  The pod-shaped pepper resembles a round fleshy cherry or cherry tomato.  The pepper has a sweet flavor and mild to moderate hot taste. The plant is a member of the Solanaceae or Nightshade family. Other common names include Hungarian Cherry Pepper, Cherry Bomb Pepper, and Sweet Cherry Chile Pepper.

The plant is native to the tropical areas of Central and South America. They grow best during warm humid days and cool nights. The Cherry Pepper is frequently grown in Europe in home gardens during the summer. In Hungary, they frequently pickle the peppers to serve as appetizers. The plant is a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin, and Iron.

The genus name, Capsicum, comes from the Greek word, Kapto, which means "to bite." Most species of this plant contain capsaicin. This chemical produces a burning sensation in the mouth when eaten. 

The Cherry Pepper prefers sunlight and moist, well-drained soil. They are tender plants and grow best in high humidity with warm days from 70-80 degrees and cool nights from 55-65 degrees. Adding compost to the soil will benefit your growing plant.  Adding sand or perlite to the soil will improve drainage. The best-growing conditions include very warm soil.  A few weeks before planting, cover the ground with black plastic which will warm the soil.

The plant is small and compact. The fruits are small, round to slightly ovate. The skin is glossy and smooth. They ripen from green to red when mature. The inside of the cavity contains many round flat cream-colored seeds. The stems are dark green and fibrous. The plant can produce an abundance of peppers throughout its growing season. 

The pepper may be served raw or cooked. Frequently, they are used as a condiment or garnish. They may be brined, grilled, smoked, or pickled.

Cherry Pepper is a good variety to plant in a home garden. During the summer months, it will serve as an ornamental plant with edible fruits.

Insects, Diseases ad Other Plant Problems:

Wilt, root rot, bacterial leaf spot, powdery mildew, pod rot, and black mold may affect this plant. Insects causing damage include aphids, flea beetles, spider mites, thrips, leaf miners, root know nematodes, armyworms, pepper hornworms, pepper weevils, and cutworms.

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Edibles, Bulbs, and Houseplants" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

More information on Capsicum annuum.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Gypsy'
    Hungarian Pepper; is spicy.
'Gypsy'
Tags:
#houseplant#edible plant#interiorscape#vegetable garden#edible fruits#vegetable
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Gypsy'
    Hungarian Pepper; is spicy.
'Gypsy'
Tags:
#houseplant#edible plant#interiorscape#vegetable garden#edible fruits#vegetable
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Capsicum
    Species:
    annuum
    Family:
    Solanaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South and Central America
    Distribution:
    Europe, Mexico, and the United States
    Play Value:
    Edible fruit
    Edibility:
    The fruits may be pickled, brined, grilled, or smoked. They are typically served as a condiment or garnish.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 8 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 8 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Edible
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Houseplant
    Vegetable
    Habit/Form:
    Mounding
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11b, 11a, 12a, 12b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The fruits measure 1 to 1.5 inches ins diameter. They are round to slightly ovate in shape. The skin is glossy and smooth. They are initially green and turn dark red when they mature. The flesh of the fruit is thick. Flat cream-colored seeds are within the cavity of the fruit. They are harvested in the summer.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Description:
    White flowers appear in the axils of leaves
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are green, simple, and lanceolate to ovate in shape.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    The stems are dark green and fibrous. The nodes may have a purple color.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Patio
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Specimen