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Edible parts - Leaves, Fruit, Herb, Spice, Vegetable

It is a shrubby perennial plant about 1 m tall. The leaves are smaller than round capsicums or bell peppers. Two or more flowers occur together in the axils of leaves. They have small pointed fruit about 1-2 cm long and they are red when ripe. They have a very hot taste when eaten or touched on the lips.

A tropical plant. A native of tropical America. The plants grow from sea level up to about 1800 m altitude in the equatorial tropics. They can't stand water-logging or frost. They are tolerant to high temperatures and a wide range of rainfall. Very high rainfall leads to poor fruit set and rotting of fruit. Soil needs to be well drained and preferably fertile with adequate organic material. Light loamy soils rich in lime are best. It does not do well on atolls. It suits hardiness zones 10-12.