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Capsicum frutescens is a species of chili pepper that is sometimes considered to be part of the species Capsicum annuum.[1] Pepper cultivars of C. frutescens can be annual or short-lived perennial plants. Flowers are white with a greenish white or greenish yellow corolla, and are either insect- or self-pollinated. The plants' berries typically grow erect; ellipsoid-conical to lanceoloid shaped. They are usually very small and pungent, growing 10–20 millimetres (0.39–0.79 in) long and 3–7 millimetres (0.12–0.28 in) in diameter.[2] Fruit typically grows a pale yellow and matures to a bright red, but can also be other colors. C. frutescens has a smaller variety of shapes compared to other Capsicum species, likely because of the lack of human selection[citation needed]. More recently, however, C. frutescens has been bred to produce ornamental strains, because of its large quantities of erect peppers growing in colorful ripening patterns.

Capsicum frutescens
Tabasco peppers.JPG
Tabasco peppers
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Capsicum
C. frutescens
Binomial name
Capsicum frutescens



Green Capsicum frutescens

Capsicum frutescens includes the following cultivars and/or varieties:


Capsicum frutescens 'Siling Labuyo' from the Philippines, showing the distinctive erect habit of C. frutescens fruits

The Capsicum frutescens species likely originated in South or Central America. It spread quickly throughout the tropical and subtropical regions in this area and still grows wild today.[6] Capsicum frutescens is currently native to the majority of Central America as well as Northern and Western South America. It is believed that C. frutescens is the ancestor to the C. chinense species.[7]

Use in EthiopiaEdit

Capsicum frutescens 'Hidalgo' flowers

According to Richard Pankhurst, C. frutescens (known as barbaré) was so important to the national cuisine of Ethiopia, at least as early as the 19th century, "that it was cultivated extensively in the warmer areas wherever the soil was suitable."[8] Although it was grown in every province, barbaré was especially extensive in Yejju, "which supplied much of Showa as well as other neighboring provinces". He singles out the upper Golima river valley as being almost entirely devoted to the cultivation of this plant, where thousands of acres were devoted to the plant and it was harvested year round.[9]

Chemical constituentsEdit


Helicoverpa assulta is one of very few insects that can successfully feed on the red pepper because it can tolerate capsicum.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Plant List".
  2. ^ "Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)".
  3. ^ Stevens, Alan M. (2004-01-01). A comprehensive Indonesian-English Dictionary. PT Mizan Publika. ISBN 9789794333877.
  4. ^ "Tjabe Rawit information (German)". Retrieved 2012-02-26.
  5. ^ Atlas tumbuhan obat Indonesia (in Indonesian). Niaga Swadaya. 2008-01-01. ISBN 9789796610655.
  6. ^ "Capsicum frutescens". The Chillies. SoilMates. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
  7. ^ Russo, Vincent M. (2012). Peppers: Botany, Production and Uses. Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International. p. 17. ISBN 9781845937676. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  8. ^ Richard Pankhurst, Economic History of Ethiopia (Addis Ababa: Haile Selassie I University, 1968), p. 193.
  9. ^ Pankhurst, Economic History, p. 194.
  10. ^ Joseph E. Pizzorno Jr. and Michael T. Murray (2012). Textbook of natural medicine (4th ed.). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. p. 634. ISBN 9781437723335.
  11. ^ Ahn, Seung-Joon; Badenes-Pérez, Francisco R.; Heckel, David G. (September 2011). "A host-plant specialist, Helicoverpa assulta, is more tolerant to capsaicin from Capsicum annuum than other noctuid species". Journal of Insect Physiology. 57 (9): 1212–1219. doi:10.1016/j.jinsphys.2011.05.015. PMID 21704632.

External linksEdit