About Green Chili Peppers

About Green Chili Peppers image by Public Domain
About Green Chili Peppers image by Public Domain


Chili peppers are noted for their hot and spicy flavor, with the chemical capsaicin determining the heat of the pepper. Chili peppers vary greatly in size, taste and heat. They are used as vegetables or spice, fresh or dried, and cooked or raw. Green chili peppers are generally milder than their red counterparts.


Chili peppers belong to the Solanacea (nightshade) family of flowering plants and the genus Capsicum. Other members of this family include belladonna, potato, tobacco, tomato, petunia and eggplant; the genus Capsicum also includes paprika.


Chili peppers, including the green varieties, have been cultivated for thousands of years in the Americas and are now produced worldwide. Christopher Columbus is credited for introducing the pepper to Europe.


Generally, green peppers contain less capsaicin than red peppers. Capsaicin can cause a burning sensation on skin and eyes when peppers are handled or cooked, and capsaicin is also the primary ingredient in pepper spray.

Pepper Anatomy and Heat

The seeds and ribs are the hottest part in all chili peppers. The heat of the pepper is directly related to size, with the heat increasing with decreasing size.

Scoville Hotness Scale

The heat of peppers is measured by the Scoville Heat Scale, developed by an American chemist. The green bell pepper has a Scoville heat rating of zero, the jalepeno pepper has a rating of 2,500 to 5,000, cayenne pepper (a red pepper) has a rating of 30,000 to 50,000, and the habanero pepper (a red pepper) has a rating of 100,00 to 350,000.


  • Capsicums: Innovative Uses of an Ancient Crop; Progress in New Crops; PW Bosland; 1996
  • The Scoville Heat Scale
  • Kakawa Chocolate House: A Brief History of Chilis

Who Can Help

  • Chili Pepper Magazine

Photo by: Public Domain

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | About Green Chili Peppers