1. Capsicum annuum var. annuum L.

    1. This is an unplaced name.


Flora Zambesiaca. Vol. 8, Part 4. Solanaceae. Gonçalves AE. 2005

Erect, often much branched, annual or short-lived perennial herb, sometimes shrubby, up to 1. 5 m tall
Branches terete or ± angular, slightly striate, often ascending, ± pubescent on young parts
Leaves usually solitary, rarely 2–3 appearing together; petiole 0.2–4.5 cm long; lamina membranous to somewhat leathery, 2.5–10 × 1–4 cm, ovate to narrowly lanceolate, base abruptly acute to attenuate, and often unequal-sided, apex obtuse to acutely acuminate, ± entire, ciliate or not, with scattered hairs in the axils of the nerves beneath
Flowers mostly solitary, terminal.
Pedicels 10–30 mm long, ± terete, striate, thickened upwards, slender (to very thick elsewhere), glabrous, ± curved, in fruit elongated to 60 mm and ± thick
Calyx smooth or rugose, 2.5–4 mm long, campanulate, rounded at the base, 10-ribbed, truncate to 5(8)-dentate, ± glabrous or pubescent; teeth up to 1 mm long, deltate to ± oblong, apically thickened and obtuse, erect or slightly spreading; in fruit enlarged and surrounding the base of it, sometimes with a constriction near the base caused by a fold of tissue
Corolla pure white to bluish-white or greenish, rarely purplish, rotate-campanulate; limb 5–10 mm across; lobes 2–5 mm long, ovate-oblong or -triangular, obtuse, ± ciliolate
Filaments 1–2 mm long; anthers bluish or ± violet, sometimes drying green, 2–3 mm long, ovate-lanceolate in outline
Ovary 1. 5–4 mm long, ± ovoid or ellipsoid, rounded or apiculate, glabrous, 2-locular (but often more-locular under domestication).
Style 2.5–4 mm long, straight
Fruit erect to pendulous from the nodes, very variable in shape, colour and flavour, 1–11 × 0.8–3 cm (or more but not recorded in the Flora Zambesiaca area), often obtusely pointed or tapering distally, sub-rugose or smooth, occasionally wrinkled, glabrous, glossy, edible
Seeds cream, yellowish or brownish, 3–5 × 2–4.5 mm, obovate in outline to sub-orbicular or ± reniform
Chromosome number: 2n=24 Trapnell (ms in K, 1933–1934) noted four main variants from the Boluba, Bambala and Baila tribes in southern Zambia – a) “dwarf” which ‘failed in cultivation’; b) “bushy”, compact plants, with erect fruiting pedicels up to twice as long as the fruit, and fruits somewhat smooth, rounded but generally pointed at the apex; c) “long bushy”, with habit as above but sometimes approaching that of the “giant”, fruiting pedicels typically deflexed, about half the length of the fruit, fruits large, elongated; d) “giant”, less branched, stouter, less compact plants, with large leaves, fruiting pedicels deflexed, fruits very large, long, tapering. The cultivated variety “Capsicum Pepper”, probably indigenous to South America, is now widely cultivated all over the world for its pungent fruits which are used to flavour food. It sometimes occurs as an escape from cultivation, and may be naturalized, particularly in southern Africa. This variety includes many cultivars differing from each other mainly in size, shape and colour of the fruits. Var. aviculare (Dierb.) D'Arcy & Eshbaugh, the wild variety, distinguished by its usually smaller flowers and fruits has not been recorded from the Flora Zambesiaca area. J. Williamson, loc. cit. (1956), recorded C. annuum var. grossum from Malawi.
BOT N, ZAM B, ZAM W, ZAM S, ZIM E Zimbabwe Botswana. Zambia

Solanaceae, Jennifer M Edmonds. Oliganthes, Melongena & Monodolichopus, Maria S. Vorontsova & Sandra Knapp. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2012

An escape, uncommon on roadsides and in undergrowth; 350–1050 m
Widespread; least concern (LC)
The pungent forms are commonly known as chilli, paprika, red- or cayenne-pepper, while the larger mild-tasting fruits which only contain small amounts of capsaicin are popular vegetables which are known as bell-, sweet- or bull-nose- peppers with most being derived from around five cultivars. The hot varieties, with their high capsaicin content are not only used as spices and for seasoning but also medicinally, while the leaves are eaten as a vegetable. There are remarkably few herbarium specimens of this species. The wild or weedy forms of this species, with much smaller and sometimes globose fruits, have been variously identified as either var. minimum (Mill.) Heiser or var. aviculare (Dierb.) Hardy & Eshbaugh. More recently, Heiser & Pickersgill (in Baileya 19: 156 (1975)) postulated that the correct name for this spontaneous variety is glabriusculum (Dunal) Heiser & Pickersgill, and disputed the validity of many of the synonyms cited by D’Arcy & Eshbaugh (in Baileya 19: 93–105 (1974)). Cufondontis (in E.P.A., 1963) described three varieties of C. annuum from Ethiopia, but without any descriptions. In view of the controversy discussed by the above authors it is difficult to speculate on where these taxa belong. This is the most widespread of Capsicum species; it was first domesticated in Mexico and parts of Central America and is now only found wild in the southern US, Mexico and the West Indies (Mike Nee, pers. comm.). Most of the earlier authors recognised several varieties of C. annuum (e.g. Fingerhuth (1832) and Dunal (1852)) mainly on the differences in fruit shape. However, the var. annuum is considered to include all of the domesticated forms with larger flowers and fruits than their wild relatives.
Flora districts: U4 K7 T2 T3 Range: Originally from Mexico, cultivated and often naturalised throughout tropical Africa, Europe, SE Asia and Australia

Capsicum annuum var. annuum L. appears in other Kew resources:

First published in (1975)


Flora Zambesiaca
  • Fl. Cabo Verde, fam. 71: 29 (2002).
Flora of Tropical East Africa
  • Fl. Cabo Verde 71: 29 (2002)
  • D’Arcy & Eshbaugh in Baileya 19: 95 (1974)


Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
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