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Capsicum annuum ‘Chilly Chili’

Ornamental pepper f1

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderSolanalesPotatoes, eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, tobacco, petunias, sweet potatoes, morning glories, many others
FamilySolanaceaeNightshade or potato family
GenusCapsicumFrom Greek κάπτω, kapto, “to bite”
Cultivar‘Chilly Chili’

About plant names...

Cayenne peppers are natives of southern North America and northern South America. Most of the peppers we eat or grow as ornamentals are cultivated from this species, including anchos, banana peppers, cayennes, de árbols, guajillos, jalapeños, anaheims, Italian sweets, pasillas, peperoncinis, pimentos, poblanos, serranos, and tabascos. (A few, habaneros among them, have other origins.) The 'Chilly Chili' cultivar is an ornamental plant bred for its bright sprays of multicolored peppers.

If you are curious as to the origins of these popular peppers, consider Kraig Harris Kraft's 2009 dissertation on the subject, The domestication of the chile pepper, Capsicum annuum: Genetic, ecological, and anthropogenic patterns of genetic diversity.

Identification: Plants are up to 2′ (60 cm) high, densely branched. They are annuals in cooler climates and woody perennials in warmer ones. (Woody variants are sometimes referred to as Capsicum frutescens, but there is little evidence to support this separate classification.) Leaves are oblong-ovate, ovate, or ovate-lanceolate, 1½-5″ (4-13 cm) × ½-1½″ (1.5-4 cm), on petioles 1½-2½″ (4-7 cm) in length. Flowers are whitish or tinged with purple, about 1″ (2.5 cm) in size, appearing from May to October. Fruits are shiny, carrot-shaped peppers. They may vary in color when ripe from green to yellow, orange, or red. As a rule, varieties with smaller fruits have more heat.

Online References:

CalPhotos (Capsicum annuum)

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (Capsicum annuum)

Wikipedia (Capsicum annuum)

EFloras (Capsicum annuum)


Fayaz, Ahmed, Encyclopedia of Tropical Plants: Identification and Cultivation of Over 3000 Tropical Plants, Firefly Books, 2011, p. 663

Graf, Alfred Byrd, Exotic Plant Manual: Fascinating Plants to Live With—Their Requirements, Propagation, and Use, Roehrs Company, 1974, p. 386


Capsicum annuum ‘Chilly Chili’ description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Capsicum annuum (ornamental pepper f1)

9/7/2010 · Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, Mass­a­chu­setts · ≈ 12 × 8″ (31 × 20 cm) ID is uncertain

Capsicum annuum (ornamental pepper f1)

9/7/2010 · Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, Mass­a­chu­setts · ≈ 1½ × 1′ (52 × 34 cm) ID is uncertain