Capsicum Chinense – not really Asian!
This article will offer you more details about a very special species of the Capsicum family: Capsicum Chinense! Find out, among other things, how to recognize this variety, exactly where its origins are, and where the misleading term comes from.
What are the characteristics of this Chilli type?
Capsicum Chinense is a very diverse breed with many varieties. In the meantime, more than thirty different Capsicum Chinense Chilies have been identified, including famous varieties such as Scotch Bonnet and Habanero. Often these fruits have clear, visible ridges. Capsicum Chinense produce Chilies in different colors and shapes, and even the occurrence of white varieties, such as the Habanero Bianco are possible. The plants themselves reach only low heights, at least for a Chilli plant. On average, the plant grows as tall as about 80 to 100 centimeters. The plants make up for their small size by growing in width. A branched growth not only ensures that Capsicum Chinense has a bushy appearance, but also a very productive harvest. We have summarized the characteristics of Capsicum Chinense once again in a list for you.
- The fruits often have ridges.
- The plants are only about one meter high.
- Capsicum Chinense has a bushy growing plant.
- The harvest is very productive.
Where do these varieties come from?
As with all other Chilies, the original area of origin is located in today's South and Central America. Meanwhile, however, the hot Capsicum Chinense Chilies are also successfully cultivated in many other parts of the world. In countries such as Trinidad or India, Capsicum Chinense is cultivated the same way as it’s grown in parts of Africa, which, of course, is associated with the prevailing climate, which is very similar to the natural habitats of the Chilies.
Another region of the world where the appropriate climate prevails is the Caribbean where the species Capsicum Chinense is very successfully cultivated. The most important cultivation areas for these Chilies are therefore:
- South America
- Central America
How did this Chilli end up with its name?
The nickname "Chinense" is based on a classic error. It started with the Austrian botanist Nikolaus von Jacquin, who obtained a Chilli of this kind from a Chinese trader. From then on, he believed he had received an Asian Chilli variety. To this day, this incident is responsible for a lot of future confusion, because often, due to the name, of course, it is assumed that these types of Chilies come from Asia.
How do you successfully grow your own Capsicum Chinense plants?
The Capsicum Chinense plants, like all other Chilies, also require a relatively long germination period, so the seeds should be planted in good time. For a successful crop growing of Chilies, it is recommended for you to use some seedlings trays. However, as the maturity period, in contrast to most other species, is very short, you can look forward to self-grown Chilies after a few months. Due to the small size of these plants, a Capsicum Chinense can also be cultivated wonderfully in a flower pot or in a greenhouse. Of course, the plant can also be planted in a flower bed or some other place in the garden.
How long do the Chilies need until they reach maturity and full ripeness?
As already mentioned, the ripening time is relatively short. Most varieties of this species need only between 50 and 90 days to form magnificent and extremely hot Chilies. This means that from the moment when the seed is germinated and the finished fruit is on the shrub, it does not really go beyond half a year.
Chilli seeds can be stored!
If you are not sure if you plan to plant your Chilies this season or you missed the right time, don’t worry, you can also easily store the seeds. In doing so, you should only pay attention to some points, so that the ability to germinate will not be lost. We'll explain what you have to look out for. First, make sure the effect of light is avoided, which of course does not only refer to sunlight. It works best either in a small bag or in a small can. In any case, it is important that the container with the seeds is sealed and absolutely airtight. In addition, the storing place, where you choose to place the seeds, is very important, as ideally, it should not be too warm. If you make sure these simple rules are kept, the seeds of the Capsicum Chinense will be usable for a very, very long time. Even after several years, these seeds can form new plants. What exactly is important for a successful storage of Capsicum Chinense seeds, we have summarized once again here for you:
- The seeds should be protected from light in a container.
- You must make sure that the seeds are airtight.
- The temperature must not rise too high.
Where can you find Capsicum Chinense seeds?
Meanwhile there is a huge fan base for products related to Chilli. Accordingly, the range of products available on the market is also large. Within these products, the seeds of the Chilli plants will also be available to you. In the regular shops, however, these products are very difficult to find. Luckily there is the World Wide Web available to you for such cases. On the Internet you will find everything that makes your fiery Chilli heart beat faster. But where exactly are the seeds and the many other Chilli products available? The answer is: in our Pepperworld Hot Shop.
The fiery conclusion is as follows:
The name Capsicum Chinense does not indicate that this species originates from Asia, but is due to an error. These kinds of Chilies come in all sort of different shapes and colors, among the best known of their kind, without any doubt, are the Scotch Bonnet and the Habanero. During cultivation, the slow germination must be considered in any case. If you do everything right, you will get your own, specially grown, Chilies after several weeks. Even the storage of the seeds is possible, if you pay attention to a few points, which means that you can start with the breed in any year you choose to. The seeds do not lose germination capabilities during storage. If you are wondering where you can get the capsicum Chinense seeds, the answer is: with us!