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Capsicum annuum ‘Black Pearl’

 

Pepper

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderSolanalesPotatoes, eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, tobacco, petunias, sweet potatoes, morning glories, many others
FamilySolanaceaeNightshade or potato family
GenusCapsicumFrom Greek κάπτω, kapto, “to bite”
Speciesannuum“Annual” (though these are often perennials)
Cultivar‘Black Pearl’

About plant names...

Cayenne peppers are natives of southern North America and northern South America. Most of the peppers we eat or grow as ornamentals are cultivated from this species, including anchos, banana peppers, cayennes, de árbols, guajillos, jalapeños, anaheims, Italian sweets, pasillas, peperoncinis, pimentos, poblanos, serranos, and tabascos. (A few, habaneros among them, have other origins.) The ‘Black Pearl’ cultivar was developed by the U.S. National Arboretum, as an ornamental plant.

If you are curious as to the origins of cayenne peppers, consider Kraig Harris Kraft’s 2009 dissertation on the subject, The domestication of the chile pepper, Capsicum annuum: Genetic, ecological, and anthropogenic patterns of genetic diversity.

Identification: Plants are up to 12" (30 cm) high (smaller than many), densely branched. They are annuals in cooler climates and woody perennials in warmer ones. Leaves are oblong-ovate, ovate, or ovate-lanceolate, about 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) long, and black. Flowers are purple (most cultivars have white flowers), about 1" (2.5 cm) in size, appearing from May to October. Fruits are shiny, oval in shape, ½-¾" (1.3-1.9 cm) around, and black (or red) (most cultivars are green, yellow, orange, or red).

Online References:

Capsicum annuum on CalPhotos

Capsicum annuum ‘Black Pearl’ at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Capsicum annuum at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Capsicum annuum on Wikipedia

Capsicum annuum on udini.proquest.com

Capsicum annuum on eFloras

References:

Fayaz, Ahmed, Encyclopedia of Tropical Plants: Identification and Cultivation of Over 3000 Tropical Plants, Firefly Books, 2011, p. 663

Graf, Alfred Byrd, Exotic Plant Manual: Fascinating Plants to Live With—Their Requirements, Propagation, and Use, Roehrs Company, 1974, p. 386

Capsicum annuum ‘Black Pearl’ description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 18 Oct 2013.

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Capsicum annuum (Pepper)

8/29/2010 · Joy and Jim’s, Mansfield, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Capsicum annuum (Pepper)

8/29/2010 · Joy and Jim’s, Mansfield, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Capsicum annuum (Pepper)

9/7/2010 · Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm)

Capsicum annuum (Pepper)

8/29/2010 · Joy and Jim’s, Mansfield, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm)

Capsicum annuum (Pepper)

8/29/2010 · Joy and Jim’s, Mansfield, MA
≈ 14 × 9" (35 × 23 cm)

Capsicum annuum (Pepper)

9/7/2010 · Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Range: Zones 4-10:

About this map...