Floridata Article

Pepper Gallery

a basket of peppers
A brilliant basket of ripe peppers, some hot, others not, from Steve's garden.

It has been estimated that there are between 2000 and 3000 different kinds of peppers cultivated around the world. Although there are about 23 species in the genus Capsicum, all the domesticated peppers have been selected from just five species. Peppers are in the nightshade family, Solanaceae, the same family that includes potatoes, tomatoes, and tobacco. In the 1500's visiting Spanish tourists "discovered" these crops in the New World and brought them back to Europe. They caught on! Today peppers are part of the cuisine of just about every culture in the world.

Peppers are very easy to grow in the home garden, and it's great fun to try different varieties. You can buy sets of the most common pepper varieties at the local garden center. But if you want to try some of the more unusual peppers, you'll have to start your own plants from seed which you can buy from mail order seed catalogs. See Floridata's page on Starting Tomatoes and Peppers from Seed.

The Floridata pepper gallery is still growing - we'll be adding new peppers as we get more images, so check back. And check out the Floridata Plant Profile on peppers for additional descriptive and cultural information about these fascinating plants.

HOT Peppers
Most Americans describe peppers (or chiles) as either "hot" or "sweet." But these terms are not opposites; many of the most fiery chiles are actually very sweet as well. And green (unripe) bell peppers are not hot, and they aren't sweet either - certainly not as sweet as red ripe bell peppers. We prefer the terms "piquant" and "nonpiquant" to describe the bite of peppers, but we will follow common usage and rank our peppers with a thermometer.

Enjoy Floridata's gallery of pretty peppers!

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