Chili pepper

Chili pepper (chilli pepper, chilli, chillie, chili, and chile) is the fruit of the plants of the genus Capsicum, in the nightshade family Solanaceae, native to the Americas.

There are a few common species of Chilli peppers.

Capsicum annuum - bell peppers, wax, cayenne, jalapeño, and chiltepin.

Capsicum frutescens - chiles de arbol, malagueta, tabasco, and Thai peppers.

Capsicum chinense - includes hottest pepper such as naga, habanero, Datil, and Scotch bonnet.

Capsicum pubescence - South American rocoto peppers

Capsicum baccatum - South American aji peppers

Peppers are commonly broken down into three groupings: bell peppers, sweet peppers, and hot peppers. The most popular pepper varieties are seen as falling into one of these categories or as a cross between them.

Capsaicin and capsaicinoids are the substances which give chili peppers their intensity when ingested or applied topically. The "heat" of chili peppers is measured in Scoville heat units (SHU), which is the number of times a chili extract must be diluted in water for it to lose its heat.

Bell peppers is ranked at 0 SHU
New Mexican green chilis - 1500 SHU
Jalapeños - 3000-6000 SHU
Habaneros - 300,000 SHU
Naga jolokia (from northeatern India) - at 1,000,000 SHU, is the hottest chili peppers in the world.

Chili pepper is eaten raw or cooked for its fiery hot flavor, which is concentrated along the top of the pod. The stem end of the pod has glands that produce the capsaicin, while the white flesh surrounding the seeds contains the highest concentration of capsaicin. By removing the white flesh helps in reducing the heat of a pepper.

Chili peppers are used around the world and are sold fresh, dried or powdered. Some chili peppers are not grown for consumption; they are instead grown for decorative qualities as "ornamental peppers". Some are too hot for typical cooking, or are not palatable. Medusa pepper is an upright plant, bearing sweet, long and thin, ornamental chili peppers, which appears like 'a hair of snakes' look akin to Medusa of the Greek Mythology. The peppers turn from green through yellow and orange, then red when fully ripe.

Capsaicin is a safe and effective analgesic agent in the management of arthritis pain, herpes zoster-related pain, diabetic neuropathy, post mastectomy pain, and headaches. Capsaicin extracted from the chili peppers is used in a less-lethal weapon called Pepper spray.

Red chili contains high level of vitamin C and carotene (provitamin A). It is also a good source for vitamin B and vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium and iron. The high level of vitamin C can increase the uptake of non-heme iron from other ingredients in a meal, such as beans and grains.

Hungarian Wax PeppersHungarian Wax Peppers
Author: Greg Younger (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)

Capsicum annuum-ornamental peppersCapsicum annuum-ornamental peppers
Author: KENPEI (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.1 Japan)

Miniature bell peppers change from purple to orange as they mature.Miniature bell peppers change from purple to orange as they mature.
Author: Fernando S. Aldado (public domain)

Yellow bell peppersYellow bell peppers
Author: Guruharsha (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

Hot peppers (Scotch bonnet peppers)Hot peppers (Scotch bonnet peppers)
Author: Secretlondon (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

Capsicum annuum cultivarsCapsicum annuum cultivars
Author: Eric Hunt (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

Yellow and red Madame Jeanette chili peppersYellow and red Madame Jeanette chili peppers
Author: Badagnani (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)

Capsicum frutescens cultivarCapsicum frutescens cultivar
Author: Eric in SF (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

Tabasco peppersTabasco peppers
Author: Piemmea (public domain)

Capsicum pubescensCapsicum pubescens
Author: Carstor (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic)

Rocoto MaduroRocoto Maduro
Author: Sebastian Aguilar (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

 Index of 690 Plants in The Flowering Garden

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