Chile Pepper Institute

The Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States is an international research-based and non-profit organization specializing in research, education and archiving information related to Capsicum or chile peppers. The institute was established in 1992, devoted to research and educating the world about chile peppers. Its research facility is named for Fabian Garcia, the famous horticulturalist dubbed the father of the U.S. chile pepper industry, who began standardizing varieties of chile pepper in 1888.[1][2][3]


The Chile Pepper Institute is a research institute and is the only international organization that is devoted to the research, resource and education of chile peppers. The institute helps and promotes the iconic and famous state vegetable of New Mexico. CPI is located in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on the campus of New Mexico State University, and research is conducted at the Fabian Garcia Horticultural Center, where it also showcase 100-200 varieties of chile pepper from around the world. Paul W. Bosland is the current director and the co-founder of The Chile Pepper Institute, who is also a professor of horticulture at New Mexico State University, where he leads the chile breeding and genetics research program.[4]

The Chile Pepper Institute is responsible for discovering the then world's hottest chile pepper, the Bhut Jolokia, led by Paul W. Bosland, and confirmed by the Guinness World Records in the Fall of 2006.[5] Many interesting records about chile peppers are discovered at the Chile Pepper Institute including the world's largest chile pepper, the Numex Big Jim specimen, that was developed in 1976 at NMSU,[6] and the recently released specimen chile pepper, NuMex Heritage 6-4, which is five times the flavor of a standard green chile.[7] CPI also host different programs, events and conferences in local, national, and international levels. These include:

  • The Annual New Mexico Chile Conference
  • European Association for Plant Breeding Research (EUCARPIA)
  • Chile Pepper Institute Teaching Garden
  • The Annual Chile Conference
  • The International Pepper Conference
  • Agricultural Science Summer Undergraduate Research Education and Development Program (ASSURED Program)


A NuMex Twilight plant with fruit in various stages of ripeness

The Chile Pepper Institute produces numerous pepper cultivars in unusual colors and shapes, such as the NuMex Twilight, a hybrid based on the Thai Ornamental pepper.[8] The peppers of the Twilight start out white, turn purple, then move through yellow and orange, becoming red when fully ripe, producing a rainbow effect on the green plant.[9] Other varieties, such as the NuMex Centennial and NuMex Easter move through other color ranges.[10][11] The NuMex April Fools has bundles of purple peppers which point upward, resembling a jester hat.[12]


  1. ^ Fryxell, David A. (December 2007). "The Red-or-Greening of New Mexico". Desert Exposure. 100 years ago, horticulturalist Fabian Garcia planted the seeds for New Mexico's $400 million chile-pepper industry
  2. ^ "Fabian Garcia Science Center". NMSU: Fabian Garcia Science Center. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Welcome to the Chile Pepper Institute!". The Chile Pepper Institute. Archived from the original on 20 November 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2015. Chile pepper research is conducted at the Fabian Garcia Horticultural Center
  4. ^ "Paul W. Bosland". New Mexico State University. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  5. ^ Bannister, Justin (1 May 2009). "NMSU's Chile Pepper Institute gets fired up with 'Holy Jolokica' hot sauce". New Mexico State University.
  6. ^ "Database of Chile Pepper Varieties". The Chile Man.
  7. ^ Bosland, Paul W. (2012). "'NuMex Heritage 6-4' New Mexican Chile Pepper" (PDF). New Mexico State University, HortScience. Archived from the original (pdf) on 19 March 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015. The New Mexico Chile Pepper Breeding and Genetics Program announces the release of ‘NuMex Heritage 6-4’
  8. ^ "NuMex Twilight: A Rainbow Of Fire". PepperScale. 29 August 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  9. ^ Diacono, Mark (25 February 2012). "Take a fresh look at cool chille peppers". The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  10. ^ Anderson, Neil O. (2007-10-04). Flower Breeding and Genetics: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities for the 21st Century. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9781402065699.
  11. ^ Winter, Norman. "Garden Guru: NuMex Easter peppers bring bold colors, flavors". Savannah Morning News. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  12. ^ "Southern Gardening: Try NuMex, other ornamental peppers". The Commercial Dispatch. Retrieved 2018-11-02.

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Coordinates: 32°16′50″N 106°45′27″W / 32.2806°N 106.7575°W / 32.2806; -106.7575