Peppers are shown on this page in three categories: hot, bell and sweet.
Hot peppers are gastronomically indispensable and they come in all shapes, sizes and colors. But how hot is each type? Actual pepper heat is described by the convention known as Scoville units. The Scoville scale is a measurement of capcaisin concentration. Here’s an easy-to-read chart with some of the most common peppers and where they fall of the Scoville scale. Peppers we grow have been listed below by heat from “warm” to very hot.
With a range on the Scoville scale from 50 to 200 Scoville heat units, this Japanese chile pepper offers a moderate but distinctive heat. The peppers can be 1″ – 4″ long, slender, and thin-walled. Although it turns from green to red upon ripening, it is usually harvested while green. The name refers to the fact that the tip of the chili pepper looks like the head of a lion. These chilies are growing fast in popularity as grilling peppers. Char-grilled or fried with a little olive oil and sea salt and you have a very tasty appetizer chili with a little bit of extra flair. Their grassy flavor also makes them an excellent chili for stir-fry, and they also work quite well as a tempura vegetable. (55 days)
These are a mild hot pepper, called Pablano when green and Ancho when dried. They are used for roasting, making chili powder and for sauces, especially mole. Nice productive disease resistant hybrid. Dark green to deep brick red. 2,000 Scoville units—sweet and savory flavor. I love these for flavoring dishes without getting too hot. Hybrid. (65 green, 85 red)
At 2,000-5,000 Scoville units, this open-pollinated heirloom has just a bit of heat, mostly in the ribs and seeds and just right for many of us who don’t want a really hot pepper, but something with a nice flavor. Very juicy small 21/2″ long pepper the shape of a jalapeno, black in color, finally turning to a garnet color if allowed to ripen fully. A manageable 2.5 to 3′ bush. (65 days).
At 5,000 Scoville units (one of the hottest Jalapeno varieties), this vigorous plant has high yields of nice-sized jalapenos without typical cracking typical. Jalafuego has a large vigorous plant with excellent yields of extra-large, smooth, and very dark green fruit. This one produces well for us and is disease-resistant. (70 days)
Our hottest pepper for this season at 200,000 to 325,000 Scoville units. Habenero is a Scotch-Bonnet type and is variety capsicum chinensis. In general, hotter climates and warmer weather will produce hotter peppers. Capsicum chinensis needs a longer, hotter summer than Capsicum annuum (most other peppers) and should not be planted until the weather is settled—perhaps mid to late May. Plants will be available a week or two after the other peppers. Dark green to tangerine. Open pollinated. (90 days)
Sweet Bell Peppers
The best known sweet peppers are the bell peppers, so-named for their rather bell-like shape. They have a mild, sweet flavor and crisp, exceedingly juicy flesh. Below are the three varieties we have available this year.
Vibrant yellow/orange color with excellent sweet flavor. Flavorburst begins the color of Granny Smith apples and ripens to a lovely shade of goldenrod. Thick-walled, crisp and juicy, the expected peppery bite overlaid with a zesty surge of lemon. So sweet and delicious, it’s like growing an entirely new sort of vegetable! Very sweet, even when it’s still green! Hybrid (72 days)
Purple peppers are always a favorite, as they are so colorful. This is a good producing purple bell pepper on a compact plant. Very nice medium-sized sweet bell. These are purple-green-deep red. At the purple stage, they taste just like a green bell pepper, but are really striking with their deep purple color. Open-pollinated— you can save seeds on this one. (74 days)
Other Sweet Peppers
Not all sweet peppers are bell peppers. They come in all shapes and flavors which include Italian frying/roasting peppers, small sweet juicy thick-walled salad peppers and a few others.
The Boldog from Hungary that doesn’t bite but does dry nicely with a hint of spiciness. A prolific bearer of 4-6” long wrinkled, tapered, pendant fruits. Pick red and dry, grinding into sweet paprika, string decorative ristras or enjoy fresh. Dries nicely with a hint of spiciness, but is not hot. Open-pollinated. (71 days)
For sweet peppers that taste wonderful roasted, plant Carmen. This Italian pepper is a bull’s horn type (corno di toro), so named for its elongated shape. The sweet flavor is present in fruits from the time they form. Great roasting or salad pepper, especially in the red stage or as it begins to turn red. Very productive with medium-thick walls. Hybrid. (70 days)
Looking more like a lipstick than an apple, these shiny 4″ fruits are elongated, with wide shoulders narrowing to a point, and fairly flat, like an ancho. Irresistibly appealing even before the ripe fruity sweetness touches your tongue. Use them in place of bell peppers in the Cajun Holy Trinity (bell peppers, onion, celery), for smaller stuffed peppers, for sweeter sauces, soups, stews, and even steeping to flavor liquids. The flavor is distinctively fruity. (80 days) Open-pollinated.
No, this is not a chain of supermarkets owned by the infamous United Fruit Corporation, but is a favorite banana pepper. Nor is this a chiquita pepper, being quite long at 5–8″, early, sweet, continuously setting and productive.
You know this one! Produces lots and lots of 6-8” thin-walled banana shaped peppers that are great raw (or cooked) and also make really wonderful Sweet Pickled Banana Peppers. Early, sweet and keeps producing. Hybrid. (64 days).