Capsicum annuum

Capsicum annuum L.

Common Names: Hot Pepper, Bird Pepper, Chili Pepper, Sweet Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Bell Pepper

Family: Solanaceae

Habit: Capsicum annuum grows as a pubescent annual or perennial to 2 m in height. The leaves are arranged alternately, to 8 cm in length, ovate to oblong to lanceolate, with an acuminate leaf apex and an entire leaf margin.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are solitary in leaf axils. The calyx has 5 fused greenish sepals.  The corolla has 5 fused at the base, white petals.  There are 5 stamens with yellow anthers that are fused at the base to the corolla.  The ovary is superior with 2 locules and numerous seeds.  The fruit is a berry that turns red or yellow or green at maturity.

Habitat: Capsicum annuum grows in Human Altered environments (yards, gardens, farms, abandoned fields) and occasionally at the edges of Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations (coppice).

Distribution: Capsicum annuum is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago but is grown on many islands.  It is native to Mexico and Central America but is now grown worldwide.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Capsicum annuum is known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago to treat ringworm and boils.

Capsicum annuum is grown as a spice and a food crop.