Chili Pepper, Hot Pepper, and Sweet Pepper

Capsicum annuum L.

Capsicum annuum L. is a dicotyledonous flowering plant commonly grown worldwide, with many general names in English, such as hot pepper, chili, chilli or chile pepper, and as well sweet pepper and bell pepper. Sometimes the plant is just called pepper, which however is often reserved for the earlier known Asian Piper nigrum (black pepper, white pepper) in the family Piperaceae. The pre-Columbian, indigenous Nahua (Aztec) Amerindian name for the plant was transcribed as chilli or chili, and the usual name in Spanish is chile, which results in the plurals of chillies, chilies, and chiles (Bosland, 1996). Other broad names for C. annuum relate more to particular varieties or strains, culinary uses, and ripeness, such as jalapeño, Cayenne, pimento (pimiento), paprika, red, and green peppers. Furthermore, four other less commonly cultivated Capsicum species are also considered chile peppers, and two of these species are similar and closely related to C. annuum.

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