lokakuu 04, 2023, 10:16:23 ap


Tervehdys, kaksi samaan aikaan sattunutta teknistä muutosta / ongelmaa summa aiheutti vajaan viikon katkon foorumille. Nyt palvelinohjelmisto on jouduttu päivittämään uuteen ja sekä ulkoasu että toiminnallisuus on muuttunut. Toivotttavasti ei ainakaan kovin paljoa huonompaan suuntaan. Odottamattomia ongelmiakin saattaa ilmaantua.

Capsicum frutescens "Duke Pequin"

Aloittaja MelT, maaliskuu 01, 2009, 01:37:02 ap

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maaliskuu 01, 2009, 01:37:02 ap Viimeisin muokkaus: maaliskuu 08, 2009, 20:24:09 ip käyttäjältä MelT
Some interesting  peppers
#1. "Duke Pequin"  Capsicum frutescens.

[I've owed  Fatalii some better images of this one, so I'll be going a little overboard with
the photos. He can also find larger versions of these images and others at

"I didn't know that peppers could grow on trees"

That is a comment I've heard when visitors first see large plants of this variety. 

They can become tall shrubby plants, and indeed are more "treelike" than most

Second- and third-year plants can be over 2m high.

It is definitely a plant that improves with age. Overwintered 2nd season and older plants
are much more productive than first-season seedlings.  The latter produce relatively few
fruit, and those only late in the season, but overwintered plants can be very productive
over the entire season. 

Fruits and flowers on a branch of a 2nd or 3rd season plant. 

Fruits are very small,

and very hot, and have plenty of tabasco-like flavor. They can be used fresh or frozen,
or as a sauce or powder.

It's of unknown origin, but was grown in the Duke University greenhouse since at
least the 1970s as "66-316. Pequin pepper. Capsicum annuum. Mexico."  Despite the
label, it is plainly a rather primitive "bird pepper" type of Capsicum frutescens.  [I
think it might be hard to find a more "typical"  representative of C. frutescens than
this one.]

In 2004, I rescued the original plant and have since propagated several others from
it by seed and cuttings. They've been  overwintered in a greenhouse each year. 

I've experimented a bit with its culture, growing some outdoors in shady sites and others
in full sun. A few were cut back as severely as I've seen people recommend doing to
overwintered  pepper plants, but most were not.

The original plant has been kept relatively compact.

The 20 liter container is 36cm [14"] tall; this plant is a little over 1m high and broad. 
Other plants are over twice its size.

During the 2008 season this one was grown in a strongly shaded site, but still
produced hundreds of fruits [many from interspecific hybrid pollinations]:

Shade-grown fruits

The scarred trunk of the oldest plant is now over 4cm diameter.
This pepper may be a good bonsai subject.

It has typical C. frutescens flowers: small, with greenish-white corollas, dark anthers,
and the flowers bent over at the tips of erect flower stalks.

Flowers are in pairs, especially on vigorous shoots.

flowers and ripe and ripening fruits

Another fruiting branch

Fruiting branch from a plant grown in full sun.

Like other wild and semi-wild peppers, the ripe fruit separates easily
from the calyx and stalk.

The calyx of the fruit has a constricted, cylindrical shape with a corresponding
nipple-like constriction of the base of the fruit. This may be a distinctive feature of
C. frutescens, but I haven't seen it discussed elsewhere.

Ripe fruits picked one afternoon in mid-season 2008.

details of same, showing constricted base of the fruit.

For a few week period beginning soon after the above photos were made, birds
started taking nearly all of the ripe fruits from these plants [as well as my
chiltepins, etc.].  But by then, I had already frozen more than I could use.

It seems best to avoid cutting back overwintered plants of this variety too

The above shows one plant that was cut back to its main branches. There is plenty
of vigorous new growth, but sparse flowers and delayed fruiting; the new shoots
resemble first-season plants.  Such heavy pruning may be useful to reshape and
rejuvenate an old plant, but less severe cutting of this variety allows it to form
densely branched crowns of smaller leaves, and bearing hundreds of flowers and
fruits over a long season.

I should mention that "Duke Pequin" seeds are available at


What i can say,really nice plants/pics  :)

Don't play with fire, but play with Wild Chilli's



Great work! As much info as possible to know about it! Thanks!

That would actually work as great article on my site, on your permission of course!

A post that is really fun to read.

And yes... I got kinda interested of the thick stem, I think I will germinate some more.. :D
The best chile pepper seeds available here:

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Beautiful and HUGE plant! Great pics and very good info! This is my first season including Duke Pequin and I can only dream about getting same kind of results...  ;)
Uniformu ukkosesta
Prässit sirkkelin teristä
Kiehuvaa pikeä poletit


Great article and pictures!
I have a small 20 cm plant in a hydro. Hopefully it will became as beautiful as your trees.


Thanks to all for the kind comments.  I'm very glad you enjoyed the post.

To Fatalii: of course I'll be delighted for you to use the article at your site,
and/or to include any of the images in it or at my site for your
"chile pictures" section.  I'd been meaning to write this article for a year or so,
and also wanted to send you better images to replace the rather poor one you
had to use.



Thanks, very nice!

Looking forward to read more posts from you!
The best chile pepper seeds available here:

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Check the latest chile articles and pictures here:
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Very nice pictures. They got me thinking if I should germinate some of the Duke Pequin seeds I have. On the other hand, I really don't have any room left, but...


Damn looks good, I have some seeds somewhere but... NO SPACE :( :(

You shot those pics in your backyard ?


Don't play with fire, but play with Wild Chilli's


Great looking plant what are the seasons like your way,
Where are you from if you don't mind me asking.


I see that the University's website server is having some problems.
I hope my images will be back soon.

re: "You shot those pics in your backyard ?"

It's not exactly my backyard, but I and a few others have unofficially more or less
taken over parts of a small wooded lot on campus next to the biology buildings and
greenhouses.  One area on the edge of these woods that was completely cleared
during construction work has been turned into a small vegetable garden [mostly peppers
and tomatoes], and an adjoining partly-shaded clearing was used for my plants in
containers.  [I thought a partially shaded "jungle clearing" might be needed to keep
rocotos from overheating in the North Carolina summer sun.  Advantages of the
site include nearly unlimited "recycled" supplies like surplus used pots and only-slightly
used potting soil. I also sank a small electric pump in a stream there for water.

re: "Where are you from if you don't mind me asking",
and "what are the seasons like your way?"

I'm in the central part of North Carolina, USA [Duke University, Durham NC, in the
North Carolina "Piedmont"]. The outdoor growing seasons are long [in 2008 I think it
was approximately from mid-April through early November between the last and and
the first killing frosts]. Much of the summer feels a lot like the warm tropics, usually
with some significant midsummer drought problems.  Winters are too cold for tropical
plants to survive.

re: the "I don't have enough room" comments
about "Duke Pequin" plants, I think they could be kept much smaller than I have
done.  A successful approach may be to do a lot of pruning within the zone of
smaller branchlets and flowering twigs. 

The greenhouse staff grew one for years [or likely, a series of replacement plants
each propagated from its predecessor] as a small plant in a 20 cm [8"] terracotta
pot, but it still produced enough fruit to impress [or perhaps the word is "torture"]
any volunteer pepper-tasters during class tours of the greenhouses.

Thanks again for the comments.


V E R Y Nice!  I look forward to getting seeds.  I know this topic is old but it deserves a bump :)


Yeah, I keep pasting this one around as its great! :)
The best chile pepper seeds available here:

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