Unique characteristics of Capsicum Annuum
As the most commonly cultivated and popular species of Capsicum, this particular variety can sometimes be difficult to separate from other cultivated species with a similar appearance.
That being said, Capsicum Annuum does have a distinctive growth configuration that can help you to distinguish this species from others. To differentiate Annuum from other varieties, pay keen attention to the configuration and appearance of its flowers and filaments (the threadlike stalks that support the anther).
In this species, the flowers are solitary as opposed to grouped. In addition, the filaments are not purple.
Because there are literally countless varieties within the Capsicum Annuum species, they vary widely in appearance aside from the distinct differentiations noted above. It can take a keen and discerning eye to correctly identify this species.
This particular pepper species also has the distinction of producing ornamental varieties, beautiful and colorful, which are grown purely for aesthetic purposes. Ornamental Capsicum Annuum typically have unique and unusually-colored fruit as well as foliage with such notable colors as black and purple.
All varieties are edible, even those used primarily for aesthetics. Most of the ornamental types (such as Black Pearl) are hot rather than sweet or mild.
Capsicum Annuum peppers
As the most commonly cultivated variety, many peppers fall within this classification. Peppers of the Capsicum Annuum variety include:
- Bell peppers
- NuMex Twilight
- Hungarian wax
- Chile de arbol
Peppers of this species run the gamut to mild and sweet to fiery and hot, as well as everything in between.
Typical flavor similarities
As the most varied of all Capsicum species, the Annuum contains a full range of flavors, just as with the levels of heat its peppers contain. There’s nothing typical about the wide variation you’ll find in just this one species alone.
Research has determined that wild ancestors of the Capsicum Annuum species evolved in southern Brazil and Bolivia, with the first domesticated plants cultivated more than 6,000 years ago.
Growing essentials – What to know before you grow
Thinking of cultivating your own Capsicum Annuum plants? Here are some tips to get you started with a successful and fruitful grow:
- Seeds are best planted indoors about 8-10 weeks before the final frost.
- Place the pot with the seedlings in a sunny spot with a temperature consistently falling between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Stay vigilant with the temperature; if consistently exposed to temperatures below 55F, the seeds will not germinate.
- Be sure to allow your plant enough light to thrive; during germination, insufficient lighting will result in scraggly and underdeveloped plants.
- Do not plant Capsicum Annuum where you have previously grown eggplant or potatoes.
- Water right after planting to cause the soil to settle down. Then, water once a week, keeping the soil consistently damp.
- When emerging growth becomes visible, after germination, reduce the frequency of watering to about once every two weeks. This will prepare your plant for transplanting.
- If grown carefully, the fruit should be ready to harvest in about 3 months (or 120 days). When your mature fruit is full-sized and firm to the touch, they’re ready to eat and enjoy!
- To prolong the life of your fresh peppers, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. If you need to keep them as fresh as possible for a longer period of time, the peppers can be frozen instead.
Under the right conditions and with proper care, you can grow Capsicum Annuum all year round using indoor grow pots, allowing you to always keep your favorite peppers fresh, on-hand, and ready to serve guests or enjoy for yourself.