Growing Chili Peppers
Welcome to thechileman.org, the home of the world's most comprehensive, fully illustrated chile database. Chillies, chilli, paprika, capsicums or chili peppers, it doesn't matter what you call them, we will have detailed information on 3770 varieties and at least one photograph for 2044 varieties. From the sweetest bell pepper to mouth blistering naga morich and trinidad scorpion, we provide all you need to know about the capsicum genus and its many species.
The database covers the capsicum genus, mild and hot, domesticated and wild. There are gaps in our knowledge, but with your help we are adding new varieties and photographs. If you want to get in contact, to make suggestions or to say hello, add me to your Google+ circles.
Five Domesticated Species
The image below shows the heat distribution of the five main domesticated species: Ann. = Annuum. Bac. = Baccatum. Chi. = Chinense. Fru. = Futescens. Pub. = Pubescens.
Obviously peppers do not fall into clear groups as their heat level, measured in SHU or Scoville Units, range from zero to perhaps a million. However, our database does categorise by heat and the nine groups we have chosen (clockwise from the top) are: Very Sweet, Sweet, Mild, Medium, Hot, Very Hot, Extremely Hot, Outrageously Hot and Nuclear. The size of the circle represents the number of varieties by species. So from the diagram you can see that the majority of capsicum varieties fall into the sweet and medium categories and are of the Annuum species. You can also say that while mild and even sweet varieties of Chinense peppers do exist, it does tend to be a species dominated by very hot peppers. Please note that although we do not currently have heat data for about almost half of the varieties in our database, we believe the general pattern will remain roughly the same. We will keep the diagram updated as we expand our knowledge.
The images below shows the distribution of pepper species in the database. There are thirty three species in total, with the five domestic species making up the majority of varieties. Some liberties have been taken with the visual representation, as many of the rarer species (such as Anomalum) only represent a single variety, where Annuum accounts for more than one thousand five hundred varieties - almost half our the entire database. We do not currently know the species for roughly a fifth of the varieties in the database.
Have we missed a chile variety? Have we classed a chile as originating in Botswana when in fact it is native to neighbouring Zimbabwe? The chileman welcomes feedback. Give us a shout with any comments or image contributions that help to make the database more complete. All images used are credited to the photographer. We thank you for your continued support with this project.