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Capsicum chinense - Jacq.
                 
Common Name Bonnet Pepper, Chinese capsicum
Family Solanaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats A tropical plant.
Range Western S. America - Brazil to the West Indies.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Tender Moist Soil Full sun

Summary
Native to Central America and grown as vegetable, Bonnet Pepper or Capsicum chinense is a tropical herb that is 70-80 cm tall. It has various varieties that are known for their extraordinary heat and flavour. The leaves are compound with each leaf composed of 3 leaflets. The flowers found in the axils of leaves. They are white and occur singly or in clusters of two. The fruit is used as a flavouring and spice. It has tonic and antiseptic properties. It increases perspiration, reduces pain sensitivity, and stimulates the circulatory and digestive systems. It is further used against fevers, varicose veins, asthma, sprains, etc. Other common names are yellow lantern chili and squash pepper. Found In: Africa, Amazon, Australia, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Caribbean, Central America, Cook Islands, Ghana, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, North America, Pacific, Puerto Rico, South America, USA, West Africa, West Indies. Other Names: Aji, Aji dulce, Ati, Habanero, Scotch Bonnet peppers, Squash pepper, Yellow lantern chili

Capsicum chinense Bonnet Pepper, Chinese capsicum


Alex Lomas wikimedia.org
Capsicum chinense Bonnet Pepper, Chinese capsicum
wikimedia.org
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Capsicum chinense is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 1.5 m (5ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms
Capsicum sinense Murray Capsicum toxicarium Poepp. ex Fingerh.

Habitats
Edible Uses
The extremely hot and pungent fruits are commonly used as a flavouring in savoury dishes[ 301 ]. Well known for their exceptional heat and unique flavor. The fruits vary in size and shape, ranging from 6mm in diameter, smooth and rounded, to wrinkled and elongated and up to 10cm long[ 418 ]
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



The pungent fruit has tonic and antiseptic properties, stimulates the circulatory and digestive systems and increases perspiration[ 238 ]. It also irritates the tissues, increasing blood supply to the area and reducing sensitivity to pain[ 238 ]. It is taken internally in the treatment of the cold stage of fevers, debility in convalescence or old age, varicose veins, asthma and digestive problems[ 238 ]. Externally it is used in the treatment of sprains, unbroken chilblains, neuralgia, pleurisy etc[ 238 ].
Other Uses
Can be used as an ornamental for their bright colourful fruit.
Cultivation details
The plant is often cultivated as an annual in the tropics and subtropics. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 20 - 26?c, but can tolerate 15 - 32?c[ 418 ]. It is not tolerant of frosts[ K ]. It succeeds with a mean annual rainfall in the range 600 - 1,250mm, but tolerates 500 - 1,500mm[ 418 ]. Requires a very warm sunny position and a humus-rich, fertile, well-drained loam[ 300 ]. Prefers a light sandy soil that is slightly acid[ 201 ]. Prefers a pH in the range of 5.5 - 5.6[ 300 ], but tolerates 4.3 to 8.3. Another report says that it prefers a pH in the range 6 - 6.5, tolerating 5.3 - 7[ 418 ]. When grown as an annual, the plant takes 120 - 150 days from sowing to first harvest of the fruit[ 418 ]. There are many named varieties[ 301 ].
Propagation
Seed. In cooler climates, Capsicum chinense does not usually survive the winter. However, it will readily germinate from the previous year's seed in the following growing season.
Other Names
Bonnet Pepper or Capsicum chinense. Other common names are yellow lantern chili and squash pepper. Other Names: Aji, Aji dulce, Ati, Habanero, Scotch Bonnet peppers, Squash pepper, Yellow lantern chili
Found In
Found In: Africa, Amazon, Australia, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Caribbean, Central America, Cook Islands, Ghana, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, North America, Pacific, Puerto Rico, South America, USA, West Africa, West Indies.
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known
Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Capsicum annuumSweet Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Chili Pepper, Christmas Pepper, Red Pepper, Ornamental Chili Pepper43
Capsicum baccatumLocoto, Aji33
Capsicum frutescensTabasco Pepper, Cayenne pepper34
Capsicum pubescensTree Pepper, Rocoto33
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Author
Jacq.
Botanical References
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.
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