SCIENTIFIC NAME: Capsicum
COMMON NAME(S): Red peppers, Chili peppers, Hot peppers
FAMILY: SOLANACEAE - Tomato or Nightshade family
ORIGIN: South America, 10 spp.
HABITAT: Vegetable gardens, common supermarket produce
LEAVES: Alternate, simple, elliptic to lance-shaped, pointed at tip
FLOWERS: Usually white
FLOWERING SEASON: Variable
FRUITS: Berries, variously shaped, sized and colored; usually ripening to red, blackish-purple or yellow
ALLERGENIC PRINCIPLES: Capsaicin, various other alkaloids
ALLERGENIC PROPERTIES: Dermatological
COMMENTS: Prolonged handling of certain hot pepper varieties has resulted in blistering inflammation of the skin. Rubbing the eyes after handling can cause irritation.