How to Identify Pepper Plants

Overview

Peppers grow in a large range of varieties, from small or big, spicy hot or sweet, white to red to green. It is important to understand how to identify pepper plants, especially if you intend on consuming them. The hotness of different peppers is measured on a Scoville Heat index. Some of the most mild peppers are sweet bell and cherry peppers; pepper with medium heat are cayenne and Serrano; and very hot peppers are habanero and scotch bonnet. Peppers are popular ingredients for cooking and medicine, and can be grown in almost any condition. Identifying them involves understanding the types of seeds, petals, flowers, calyx and pedicels of the plant.

Step 1

Wear gloves when handling extremely hot varieties. Use soap and water to wash your hands before touching any part of your face.

Step 2

Examine the seeds on the plant. Dark seeds indicate the C pubescens species, which would mean the petals will be purple. Tan or yellow-colored seeds mean that the pepper species is mild.

Step 3

Identify the petals of the plant, also called the corolla. Light-colored spots on the petals indicate it is the C baccatum species.

Step 4

Identify the flowers of the chile pepper plant. Flowers that are singular and solitary mean the variety is a C annuum. For two or more blossoms at the nodes, it means the variety is C Chinense.

Step 5

Identify the calyx of a mature fruit from the pepper plant. If there is a ring-like growth at the top of the pepper connecting to the stem, the variety is C Chinense.

Step 6

Examine the blooms. A pepper that exhibit flowers blooming in groups of two or more is C frutescens.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening or latex gloves
  • Soap
  • Water

References

  • Identifying Pepper Plants
  • About Pepper Plants
Keywords: about pepper plants, finding pepper plants, vegetable plant idenfication

About this Author

Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.