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Capsicum annuum
Capsicum annuum cultivars
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Capsicum
Species: C. annuum
Binomial name
Capsicum annuum

Capsicum annuum is a domesticated species of the plant genus Capsicum native to Mexico.[1]



The plant is a perennial, but usually grown as an annual, with a densely branched stem. The plant reaches 0.5–1.5 m (20–60 in). Single white flowers bear the fruit which is green when unripe, changing principally to red, although some varieties may ripen to other colours including brown and purple.

Nomenclature and taxonomy


While the species can tolerate most climates, they are especially productive in warm and dry climates.

Due to this climate tolerance, and the variety of flavors available, this New World plant spread across the world, possibly faster than any other crop.

Typical C. annuum flower, Royal Embers.

List of the cultivars



The species is a source of popular sweet peppers and hot chili fruit, and numerous varieties are cultivated around the world. Despite being a single species, Capsicum annuum has many cultivars, with a variety of names. In American English it is commonly known as the chili pepper or bell pepper. In Euro English paprika is the name commonly used to describe the sweet Capiscum, not just the spice prepared from the dried fruit.

In British English, the sweet varieties are called peppers[4] and the hot varieties chillies[5], whereas in Australian and Indian English the name capsicum is commonly used for bell peppers exclusively and chilli is often used to encompass the hotter varieties.

Common varieties include:

See more complete descriptions at: List of chile peppers


Hot peppers are used in medicine as well as food in Africa.[6]

John Lindley (1799-1865) wrote in his 'Flora Medica' (1838) about Capsicum annuum, page 509: 'It is employed in medicine, in combination with Cinchona in intermittent and lethargic affections, and also in atonic gout, dyspepsia accompanied by flatulence, tympanitis, paralysis etc. Its most valuable application appears however to be in cynanche maligna and scarlatina maligna, used either as a gargle or administered internally.'

See also

Notes & References

  1. ^ Latham, Elizabeth (2009-02-03). "The colourful world of chillies". Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  2. ^ a b c Ayuso, M. Concepción et al. (2008). "Quality characteristics of different red pepper cultivars (Capsicum annuum L.) for hot paprika production". European Food Research and Technology 227 (2): 557–563. doi:10.1007/s00217-007-0756-z. 
  3. ^ a b Ercan, Nurgül et al. (2006). "Influence of growing season and donor plant age on anther culture response of some pepper cultivars (Capsicum annuum L.)". Scientia Horticulturae 110 (1): 16–20. doi:10.1016/j.scienta.2006.06.007. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Grubben, G.J.H. & Denton, O.A. (2004) Plant Resources of Tropical Africa 2. Vegetables. PROTA Foundation, Wageningen; Backhuys, Leiden; CTA, Wageningen.

External links


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Capsicum annuum in bloom


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Euasterids I
Ordo: Solanales
Familia: Solanaceae
Genus: Capsicum
Species:Capsicum annuum

Vernacular names

Deutsch: Paprika
Ελληνικά: Πιπεριά
English: Pepper
Español: Pimiento morrón
Français: Piment
Македонски: Пиперка
Nederlands: Paprika
日本語: トウガラシ
Română: Ardei
Svenska: Spanskpeppar


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