Thursday, October 28, 2010

Next year's chillis

The first orders have gone into the seed suppliers for next year's chillifest and I thought some of you may be interested in what I plant to grow so.....

Capsicum annum

Guatemalan Chiltepe,
McMahons Texas Bird Pepper and NuMex Bailey Piquin are all wild type chillis, often known as "bird peppers". Chiltepe produces very small round pods which are supposed to be very hot (aren't they all?) and was sent to me by someone who received some seeds collected from pods sold in a local market Guatemala. It is also supposed to be a plant which does well in low light conditions and is maintainable as a small or large plant.

McMahon's Texas Bird is another old variety with a little bit of class in its history. The name suggests its place of origin but this variety is perhaps best known as having been grown in the Monticello gardens by one Thomas Jefferson (president of the USA and all round legend).

Jefferson obtained his seed in 1812 and 1813 from a Captain Samuel Brown, who was stationed in San Antonio, Texas and grew the plant in 1814. It has been described as a tiny form of the wild chiltepe. It's supposed to be particularly good for flavouring pickles, sauces and vinegars.

Numex Bailey Piquin is a small fruited plant of more modern extraction having been bred by New Mexico State University's legendary chilli programme. As a piquin it'll have bullet shaped as opposed to rounded pods and interestingly these fall from the plant when ripe making picking easier.

Joe's Long Cayenne is, as its name suggests a (very) long thin-fruited Cayenne which will hopefully produce a good clutch of highly ornamental 10 inch fruit.

Thai Yellow is a fairly standard annum type which will produce standardish golden thai chillis.

Capsicum baccatum Criolla Sella this is supposed to be a lot like lemon drop but better, with pods of a rich orange as opposed to bright yellow......

Capsicum chinense
PI 281429
- I just picked this one because its a cool colour. Its habanero type pods ripen to a very delicate salmon colour which was intriguing enough to tempt me......

Big Sun
is a monstrously big fruited yellow scotch bonnet from the Caribbean, which should contrast well with the more typical generic Scotch Bonnet Red plants I also intend to grow.
NuMex Suave Orange
is another plant from NMSU and is a habanero without any heat and so should be roughly similar to Trinidad Perfume (but orange not yellow).

Capsicum fructescens
Fructescens is the species tabasco sauce is made from. I utterly failed with the fructescens variety birdseye this year but want another go. Duke Pequin is another wild type chilli. This one grows into a huge bush if given the opportunity and produces massive amounts of tiny red bullet shaped chillis that are rather hot. I'm hoping to use it as a parent to grow some interesting hybrids from.

Capsicum pubescens
Pubescens is a new species to me; the name refers to its hairy leaves and it has some other cool features: purple flowers and jet black seeds. Turbo Pube (PI 585267) has yellow rugby ball shaped pods which are apparently not too hot (by this species' high standards).

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