Description: Erect or spreading herbs or short-lived, soft-wooded shrubs, glabrous or sparsely hairy with simple hairs.
Leaves alternate or almost paired, simple, margins entire, petiolate.
Flowers solitary or a few in leaf axils and forks of branches, bisexual, actinomorphic. Calyx shortly tubular, with 5 teeth minute or absent. Corolla stellate, white, greenish white or pale blue; limb deeply 5-lobed. Stamens 5, equal, inserted at base of corolla tube; anthers 2-locular, converging, basifixed, dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Ovary 2-locular.
Fruit a berry, dryish or somewhat fleshy.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 10 species, tropical America Widely cultivated in warmer regions of the world. Australia: 2 species (naturalized), Qld, N.S.W., N.T.
Several species are widely cultivated in warmer regions of the world as vegetables and condiments (Chili, Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Red and Green Peppers).
Text by B. J. Conn
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Pedicels, after first flowering, usually 1 or rarely 2 at each node; corolla white or blue; fruit globose, ovoid or oblong conical, usually more than 6 mm diam||Capsicum annuum|
|Pedicels, after first flowering, usually ± 2 at each node; corolla white or green; fruit narrow-conical to narrow-ellipsoid or fusiform, usually 3–6 mm diam||Capsicum frutescens|