Capsicum annuum ‘Black Pearl’
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).
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
Capsicum annuum ‘Black Pearl’ description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 18 Oct 2013.
Range: Zones 4-10: