Last year, while at a Baker Creek heritage seed festival, I purchased a pepper start which turned out to be a beautiful blazing hot pepper tree! It came as a smallish plant, but the vendor told me that it was necessary to cut his very large full grown plant down with a chain saw. He also said that the plant was absolutely full of bright red peppers. Wish I could remember the name he told me! So, we planted our little pepper in a large pot, kept it alive in the house over the winter, and moved it to the deck this spring, watering twice a day in the oppressive summer heat. Just take a look at the blog photos….
The thing has grown into a small tree – a pepper tree, leaves, bark, red hot peppers and all!! The striking red fruit turns upward toward the sun. We have picked lots of them, and it just keeps on blooming, making more! Sure wish I knew what kind of pepper it is….. Are they hot? They are waaaaay above our tolerance level on the heat scale. We will use them sparingly in Mom’s chili and in homemade salsa. She served them this week with rice, not bad. I cut a couple of the hot peppers open and found between 30 & 50 seeds per pod. We counted over 200 pods on our plant….which equates to more than 8,000 seeds per plant. I suspect this one gets an A+ on the “be fruitful and multiply” commandment! If you know what kind of pepper this is, please let me know. Also, if you want to try planting the seeds, I am thinking to sell a few…hope it is a HOT market.
Addendum: I believe we have identified the pepper tree as a Chile de árbol! This is an equatorial pepper with heat range from 15,000 to 30,000 Scoville Units. To learn more see the Wikipedia article: Chile de árbol