Organic Chilli Pepper ‘Cayenna’
30,000 – 50,000 SHU
The Cayenne Pepper is named after the Cayenne River in French Guiana.
The plant grows up to 1m in height and fruits prolifically. It takes around 70 days to mature, the fruits are approximately 10-25cm long, they are usually red and they hang from the bush rather than grow upright.
The Cayenne pepper is actually part of the nightshade family. It is closely related to Jalapeño and bell peppers and were brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus.
Cayenne Pepper is made by drying and grinding the chilli seeds, mixed with flour and baked into a hard biscuit then ground into a fine powder. Often other chillies are used in this process so by growing your own you can make your own Cayenne powder from only Cayenne peppers!
The Cayenne chilli is the favourite chilli for Cajun cuisines and in Louisiana style hot sauces.
Whilst it is a really popular culinary spice, cayenne pepper is also widely used as a herbal supplement.
The chilli seeds should be sown in trays or modules from Jan – Mar at 18-21C. Pot on when seedlings are large enough to handle and continue to pot on as they grow. Plant out in late spring/early summer. For best yields grow in a greenhouse.
Scroll down for the seed story!
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Chilli Peppers were brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus in the 1400’s.
Chillies originated in Mexico and are one of the oldest cultivated crops in the Americas. They have been part of the human diet since 7500BC.
The Aztecs discovered the medicinal qualities of capsaicin which is what gives chillies their heat. capsaicin was used to reduce blood pressure, relieve pain and is even said to increase metabolism and help with digestive issues.
Chillies are the traditional treatment for toothache in Mexico
In Africa, chillies are laid on fences around crops to deter elephants!
There are many species of capsicum but only 5 have actually been domesticated including two very popular types:
Capsicum Annuum which includes bell peppers, paprika, jalapeños and cayenne
Capsicum Chinensis which includes the habanero and scotch bonnet.
Chillies were introduced to Asia by Portuguese traders who sold them based on the similarities to black pepper in taste. They then introduced them to India at the end of the 15th century.