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Habanero Pepper Capsicum chinense

Phonetic Spelling
KAP-sih-kum chy-NEN-see
Description

"Habanero-type" peppers are a pepper species native to parts of South America.  Like other pepper species, the fruits are brightly colored and used worldwide for food, spice, and medicine.  It contains some of the hottest peppers to exist, including the current world record holder 'Carolina Reaper'.

Grow in rich, moist, well-drained soil in full sun.  Plant only when nighttime temperatures are at least 55F; seedlings may be started indoors earlier and transplanted at this time. These plants enjoy heat and tolerate drought, though prolonged drought may affect fruit quality.  These plants are resistant to deer browsing.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Peppers share many pests and diseases with other nightshade family plants.  It is important to look out for aphids, whiteflies, cutworms, pepper maggots, and Colorado potato beetles. This plant is also sensitive to Verticillium wilt (a fungal pathogen) and mosaic virus (which should show a uniform yellow-green mosaic across the leaves followed by wilt).

 

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

More information on Capsicum.

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See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Carolina Reaper'
    Developed in SC; hottest pepper officially recorded as of 2019
'Carolina Reaper'
Tags:
#annuals#edible plant#herbaceous perennials#edible fruits#vegetable#annual vegetable#ornamental vegetable#perrenial#spice
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Carolina Reaper'
    Developed in SC; hottest pepper officially recorded as of 2019
'Carolina Reaper'
Tags:
#annuals#edible plant#herbaceous perennials#edible fruits#vegetable#annual vegetable#ornamental vegetable#perrenial#spice
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Capsicum
    Species:
    chinense
    Family:
    Solanaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Bolivia, northern Brazil, and Peru
    Wildlife Value:
    Birds are immune to the capsaicin in peppers and can safely eat the fruits with no ill effects. Therefore, these plants may attract birds.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Edible
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Vegetable
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Good Dried
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Fruits are a non-pulpy berry and vary considerably across cultivars in shape and color. Many tend to have a lumpy, crinkled appearance compared to other species. They contain high capsaicin levels.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    White, usually 5-parted flowers bloom in June and continue until frost.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Ovate leaves (to 3” long) that are deep green. The surface is commonly crinkled.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Nodes may darken to purple.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Edible Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Heat
    Problems:
    Problem for Children