Chilli Plant Descriptions

Aji Mango

Capsicum baccatum

A very productive variety that produces orange coloured pods that have a fruity but fiery flavour. The fruits start off light green and ripen to a vibrant orange. The pods can be up to 5cm long and 3 cm wide and have a wavy lobe-like texture and appearance. The plant can grow to 1m high and will require support.

Heat level: Can vary widely. Approximately 50,000 to 150,000 SHUs.

Antillais Caribbean

Capsicum chinense

A large red Habanero-type chilli that is very similar to Scotch bonnet in terms of flavour profile and heat level. It produces large (5cm long) fruits that ripen from green to orange/yellow and finally to red. Plant grows to 1m high.

Heat level: 250,000 to 350,000 SHUs.

Bhut Jolokia (Ghost)

Capsicum chinense

The first 'Super' chilli! The Bhut Jolokia (A.k.a. Naga Jolokia or Ghost) was officially measured at over one million Scoville Heat Units in 2006. This chilli is renowned for its deeply aromatic flavours together with its seriously heat. As with all super hot chillies growing in the UK climate, it does take some time for these fruits to ripen, so with a good summer and growing conditions, this can be anywhere from mid to late summer onwards.

Being three times hotter than an Orange Habanero, our suggestion for cooking with these chillies is to use a small amount, very finely chopped. As a rough guide, try ¼ of a pod per person for a hot dish.

Heat level: 800,000 to 1,200,000 SHUs.

Big Black Mama

Capsicum Chinense

The Big Black Mama is one of the super hot chilli varieties and was created by Troy Primo (an American chilli grower) and is a cross between the Naga Morich and the Douglah 7 pod & produces some knobbly, gnarly looking fruits of a dark purple-brown colour.

The plant can grow up to a metre tall and is prolific, producing lots of fruits that ripen to a dark rich brown in the mid to late summer. The pod have a wrinkly surface and can be up to 6 or 7 cm long and up to 3cm wide.

Heat level: ≥1,000,000 SHUs.

Big Sun Habanero

Capsicum chinense

A large, bright-yellow Habanero with extreme heat and fruity flavour producing large fruits which can be up to (6cm long and ripen from green to yellow. Plant grows to 1m high. The flavpur and heat is akin to the hugely popular Orange Habanero, but the Big Sun is larger and more yellow coloured.

Bulgarian Carrot 

Capsicum annuum

This variety from Bulgaria is well suited to the short UK growing season. It produces a good crop of hot fruits that ripen from green to orange. The fruits grow to 3 - 4 inches long with smooth and glossy skin and are hot with a fruity flavour. The plant grows to 2' high.

Heat level: 12,000 to 30,000 SHUs.

Carolina Reaper

Capsicum chinense

The Carolina Reaper has been measured at over 2 million scoville units and is the hottest chilli we currently grow.

This chilli was given the 'hottest in the world' title in August, 2013 and was bred by the PuckerButt company in South Carolina, USA. Incredibly, the record for eating three of these fruits is just over 12 seconds!

Heat level: 1,800,000 to 2,200,000 SHUs.

Cha Cha

Capsicum annuum

This variety is very prolific and very attractive. It produces an abundance of yellow pods that offer excellent spice for Thai-type cuisines when used fresh or dried and made into powder or flakes. Awesome as useful ornamental plants to grow almost everywhere too.

Heat level: approximately 50,000 to 70,000 SHUs.

Cherry Bomb

Capsicum annuum

This is a hugely popular and versatile chilli that is also very easy to grow. The plant produces an abundance of eye-catching bright red fleshy fruits (5cm round) which mature in around 60 days from potting on. They can be stuffed with cheese and baked, or used for cooking and fresh salsa. The plants will need supporting as the fruits can become very heavy.

Heat level: approximately 2,000 to 4,000 SHUs.

Explosive Ember

Capsicum annuum

This plants has had many admirers in our show tunnel over the years as well as our award winning RHS Rosemoor Garden and Flower Show 2023 display garden. It produces purple leaves and purple to deep-red fruits about an inch long.

Orange Habanero

Capsicum chinense

This is the most commonly grown Habanero and one of the easiest to grow. The fruits are up to 2.5cm x 4cm and are produced on a shrubby bush up to 70cm tall x 70cm wide. The fruits are ready to pick at around 100 days after the seedlings have been potted on, and the plant will continue cropping as long as suitable conditions are maintained.

Heat level: 250,000 to 350,000 SHUs.

Purple Pumpkin

Capsicum pubescens

This variety produces an abundance of shiny pumpkin shaped fruits that start off purple/purple-ish pink and ripen to a vibrant orange-red.

The plant will need supporting as it grows and the branches can be quite thin. Plants can grow to up to 1m tall.

Heat level: approximately 30,000 to 40,000 SHUs.

Purple Tiger

Capsicum annuum

A stunning plant for a windowsill or patio. A small (30cm), spreading plant with variegated white, purple and green leaves. This plants has had many admirers in our show tunnel over the years as well as our award winning RHS Rosemoor Garden and Flower Show 2023 display garden. The 2cm rounded, glossy, deep purple and often multi coloured striped fruits ripen to bright red. This plant is also known by the name Trifetti.

Heat level: approximately 5,000 SHUs.

Red Biquinho

Capsicum chinense

Biquinho is Portuguese for little beak and the chillies on this plant can be said to resemble small bird beaks. This plant produces a mass of teardrop or pearl shaped chilli fruits which hang from the plant like small lanterns. These popular chillies are often found preserved in jars or used on pizzas. The fruits are sweet and fruity once ripened to red and grow to around 3.5cm x 2.5cm.

Heat level: Mild, approximately 1,000 SHUs.

Red Missile

Capsicum annuum

A dwarf ornamental chilli plant. Fruits are upright and 4cm long, and change from ivory-coloured to bright red. A really good choice for growing indoors and a firm favorite among growers who have a limited amount of space.

Heat level: approximately 5,000 to 15,000 SHUs.

Scotch Bonnet

Capsicum chinense

The hugely popular Scotch Bonnet is used extensively throughout the Caribbean. The flavour is similar to other 'Habanero-type' chillies. The fruits are used to make hot sauces throughout the Caribbean. And the fresh fruits are often left to simmer as whole fruits in stews, soups and broths. This allows the fruit to release its rich fruity aroma without too much heat. The name 'Scotch Bonnet' comes from its resemblance to a Tam o'shanter hat.

There is a lot of confusion and misinformation around Scotch Bonnets. They are often purported as having a shape similar to a Bishop's Crown Chilli or a Jamaican Mushroom. While the name Scotch Bonnet suggests that is is similar to a Bishop's Crown, its has a completely different heat profile than the much milder Bishop's Crown. It has a heat level similar to a Jamaican Mushroom which can be either yellow or red. Additionally, Scotch Bonnets are Capsicum Chinense whereas Bishop's Crown are Capsicum Baccatum.

There has been intense cross breading of Scotch Bonnets over the years such that there is a wide variety of shapes and sizes and possibly no true original archetypical Scotch Bonnet. In fact, across the Caribbean where this chilli grows naturally, there are an almost infinite number of hybrids due to intentional cross breading and natural hybridization. We believe that this variety we have in stock is representative of the characteristics of what you'd expect from a good Scotch Bonnet chilli in terms of flavour profile and heat level. Have a look at the photo on the right that compares 6 fruits from the same plant - you can see that even on the same parent plant, there is a wide range of phenotypical variations. In the end, who cares what it actually looks like as it's all about the taste and heat with these chillies!

Heat level: approximate 200,000 SHUs.

Sweet Banana

Capsicum annuum

This productive plant produces long cylindrical fruits, tapering to a point. Fruits ripen from a lime green to yellow to red. Fruits are approximately 18cm long, 4cm wide. Great for grilling and usually used when yellow. Plant 40cm high.

Heat level: heatless to very mild (0 to 1,000 SHUs).

Tangerine Dream

Capsicum annuum

A mild fleshy chilli that is great for stuffing. The fruits are round (between 35 and 40 mm in diameter and ripens from mid-summer onwards.

Heat level: approximately 2,000 SHUs.

Thai Hot

Capsicum annuum

Very hot variety originally from Thailand. Plants become covered with 2cm long peppers that are green at first but ripen to red. Both colors appear on the plant at the same time making this variety ornamental as well as edible. Thin fleshed peppers are used especially in Oriental dishes.

Heat level: Can vary widely. Approximately 50,000 to 100,000 SHUs. Learn about Scoville Heat Units (SHUs) here.

Harvest: Starts fruiting about 90 days from potting on. Pick when the fruits have reached their maximum size. Fruits ripen from green to red.

Size: Compact bushy plant reaching a maximum size of approximately 30cm tall.

Trinidad Cherry Pepper

Capsicum chinense

A small, round chilli pepper that ripens to bright red. Sharp, fiery heat with fruity flavour. Generally used in hot salsas (known as "chow") and Caribbean chutneys. The Trinidad Cherry Pepper is Trinidad's version of the Guyanese Wiri Wiri chilli. It is grown in almost every kitchen garden on the islands of Trinidad & Tobago. The fruits are amlost perfectly round and are around 12mm in diameter.

Heat level: approximately 60,000 to 80,000 SHUs.

Trinidad Perfume

Capsicum chinense

A high yielding HEATLESS Habanero - all the wonderful flavour of a Habanero with very little heat and a lovely sweet perfume aroma. Great for salads or cooked into food for a great flavour.

Heat level: heatless.

Trinidad Pimento

Capsicum chinense

The Trinidad Pimento is also known as the Trinidad 'seasoning pepper'. It is the most popular cooking pepper on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. It turns from light green to dark red or orange red. The elongated peppers can get over 3 inches in length and about 1/2 inch in diameter.

Seasoning peppers are used extensively when making the famous Trinidad 'green' seasoning. This is a marinade which varies from family to family but almost always includes fresh green herbs such culantro/cilantro/parsley/coriander, thyme, onion, garlic, scotch bonnets and of course lots of seasoning peppers. The bulk of the green herbs and often semi ripe seasoning peppers gives the marinade its distinctive green colour as well as its unique aromatic yet fruity aroma and flavour. The marinade is used on grilled meats and vegetables or as a base for soups and stews.

Heat level: heatless to mild with the occasional hot one. These chillies are similar to Pimiento de Padron in that there is the occasional odd hot one. Though, generally they generally mild to heatless. Therefore, it is advisable to try a small amount first. The riper the chilli the hotter it can be; although, this is not always the case and there are often more exceptions to the rule.

Trinidad Scorpion

Capsicum chinense

The Trinidad Scorpion was once the hottest chilli in the world  and have been measured at over 1.4 million Scoville Heat Units.

The plant can get quite large (up to 70cm in a large pot and taller if grown directly in the ground). It produces a good crop of 4cm fruits that ripen to a vivid red about 120 days from potting on and under good growing conditions.

Heat level: 1,000,000 to 1,400,000 SHUs.