...as in "bushy" or "shrubby" plant growth. It has been suggested that Capsicum frutescens, in its primitive form, may be the ancestor of Capsicum chinense. Normally treated as a perennial. This species is mainly represented by two cultivars, Tabasco and Malagueta. Tabasco is the most common cultivar of Capsicum frutescens. The Malagueta is a popular cultivar in Brazil. It is not related to Aframomum melegueta, the melegueta or Guinea pepper, from Africa, which is related to ginger.
Pronounced as 'fru-TES-enz'.
Flowers solitary at each node (occasionally fasciculate). Pedicels erect at anthesis but flowers nodding. Corolla greenish-white, without diffuse spots at base of lobes, corolla lobes often slightly revolute. Calyx of mature fruit without annular constriction at junction with pedicel, though often irregularly wrinkled; veins usually not prolonged into teeth. Fruit flesh often soft. Seeds straw-coloured. Chromosome number 2n=24, with one pair of acrocentric chromosomes, e.g. Tabasco pepper.
Tabasco pods © Nathan Abbott
Subdivisions & Synonyms
Capsicum frutescens var. fasciculatum which is also known as the Red Cluster Pepper
Capsicum frutescens abbreviatum also known as the Short Pepper
Capsicum frutescens longum also known as the Long Pepper
Capsicum frutescens longum var. conoides (aka Capsicum conoides) also known as the Cone Pepper
Capsicum frutescens longum var. abbreviatum also known as the Hot Short Pepper
Capsicum frutescens longum var. cerasiforme also known as the Hot Cherry Pepper
Capsicum frutescens longum var. baccatum also known as Peruvian Pepper, Bird Pepper and Hot Cherry Pepper