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Capsicum annuum

Capsicum annuum

Capsicum annuum cultivars
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
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.[citation needed]



The plant is a herbaceous 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, some varieties may ripen to brown or purple.


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.



The species is a source of popular sweet peppers and hot chilli fruit, it is cultivated around the world. Despite being a single species, Capsicum annum has many cultivars, with a variety of names. In American English it is commonly known as the chili pepper or bell pepper.

In British English, they are all called peppers, whereas in Australian and Indian English there is no commonly-used name encompassing all its forms, the name capsicum being commonly used for bell peppers exclusively.

Common varieties include:

  • Aleppo
  • Ancho
  • Bell pepper
  • Cubanelle
  • Dundicut
  • Jalapeño
  • Pimento
  • Poblano
  • Tien Tsin


Hot peppers are used in medicine as well as food in Africa.[1]

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

  • List of capsicum cultivars


  1. ^ Grubben, G.J.H. & Denton, O.A. (2004) Plant Resources of Tropical Africa 2. Vegetables. PROTA Foundation, Wageningen; Backhuys, Leiden; CTA, Wageningen.
  • Texas A&M University
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Capsicum_annuum". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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