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A "Wiri-Wiri" Query

Aloittaja MelT, helmikuu 11, 2011, 04:06:42 ap

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helmikuu 11, 2011, 04:06:42 ap Viimeisin muokkaus: helmikuu 12, 2011, 00:11:38 ap käyttäjältä MelT
or, No Rest for the Wiri-Wiri

Any better ideas as to what this plant is?

One of the plants used as a parent of the "chinense tepin" hybrid described in  is a variety I got as "wiri wiri". 
"Wiri wiri" is a fairly well-known name for some South American and Caribbean chilis with small round fruits.  It only recently
occurred to me that my "wiri wiri" plants may not "true wiri wiri", if indeed there is such a thing.  It appears "wiri wiri" is at
least sometimes used for more than a single variety of chili [perhaps belonging to more than one species]. 

My plants:

They came from
The dealer says they were C. chinense and "from Caribbean".

Also relevant is this link:
The plant in the image is pretty clearly the same variety, but is called "C. frutescens" and "a variety from Guyana". 
However, the further images linked there:
show another fruit that appears to be something else entirely [likely the same C. chinense form as in other links below].
shows the same thumbnail, says it's "from Jamaica".

I'd read that "Mari Wiri" or "Meri wiri" are just alternative names for "wiri wiri" in Guyana, but the "Mariwiri" variety obtained
in a market in Guyana is plainly something completely different:

Many of the "Wiri Wiri" images I found on the Web seem to illustrate a single C. chinense variety with
pendulous cherry-shaped fruits. They are different from both the plants discussed here and the
"Mariwiri" variety described earlier.
Show a "wiri wiri" that is more/less plainly different from mine  [both "wiri wiri" and "mariwiri"] but is also from Guyana. also shows a similar fruit. 
shows many of a similar form.

It may be that these pendulous-cherry-fruited C. chinense plants are the one true "Wiri Wiri".
On the other hand, perhaps the name is sometimes used loosely for any small round chili. Possibly, usage of the name
varies locally, and what is called "wiri wiri" in the Caribbean [Jamaica?] is different from the "wiri wiri" in Guyana. 

I see it being discussed as C. frutescens and C. chinense [the confusion perhaps partly due to the mix of
varieties, but the species distinction isn't so clear among primitive C. chinense and C. frutescens]

Whatever my "wiri wiri" plant is and wherever it came from, it seems a distinctive primitive chili, perhaps not far
morphologically/genetically from the common origin of C. chinense and C. frutescens. The form of the fruiting calyx
and receptacle seems closer to C. frutescens such as "Duke Pequin", than to C. chinense, and the flowers
are very similar as well.

If it is C. frutescens, it evidently completely lacks the elongated-fruit trait that is so characteristic of most other
C. frutescens.  Perhaps it may represent an early tepin type of C. frutescens?

From chili images on the web, PI 241676 from Ecuador seems to show a similar form of fruit and calyx.

Besides crossing this "Wiri Wiri" with "Duke Pequin" and with "Wild Brazil", I grew a few hybrids between it and "Bhut Jolokia". [No
special purpose in mind, just thought they might be interesting, although the literature indicates that "Bhut Jolokia" has
identifiable C. frutescens ancestry]

"Wiri Wiri"X"Bhut Jolokia" Unripe fruits. Plant was stressed by heat, frequent drought, and lack of fertilizer, but was still fairly productive.

Healthier plant with some ripe fruits


Comparison of hybrid with one of its parents:

The hybrid fruits seemed perfectly usable hot chilis. Together with the "Duke Pequin" x C. chinense hybrids, they were among
those chilis that could easily be spread on bread.