Pepper Starts

This list is divided into two parts: Sweet Peppers and Hot Peppers. Scroll down to see our hot pepper list.

PEPPERS – SWEET:

ALMA PAPRIKA – 70-80 days, heirloom
Extremely productive plants are loaded with 2-3″ round peppers with thick meaty flesh. They ripen from creamy-white to red. The flavor is sweet and delicious, with just a hint of warmth. One of the best for drying when red and then powdering for paprika; also great fresh.

BIQUINHO IRACEMA  NEW!
Early maturing, Heirloom, Open Pollinated, low or no heat, with an occasional ‘spicy bomb’
Pimenta Iracema Biquinho, or Little Beak Pepper, is reportedly from the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, where they are pickled and served as an appetizer. The bright red 1 inch pods taper to a point like an inverted teardrop. The 2 1/2 foot bushes should be spaced 18 inches apart. Sold here as ‘Sweety Drops’, but known in Brazil as “chupetinho.”  Our seed source reports ”I have read many claims that Biquinho Iracema has either low heat or no heat at all. But this is a C. chinense, and in my own experience, I might find 20 or 30 fruits with no heat, and then get one little spicy bomb. I also observed that the occasional spicy bomb fruits had a much stronger aroma of that distinctive “extremely hot” pepper smell. This is an easy pepper to grow, and quite early, covering itself with glowing jewels. It never seems to take a break as many pepper varieties do during the highest heat of the summer”.

CALIFORNIA WONDER – 65 – 70 days, open pollinated
Big sweet blocky bells, no sunscald, ripens red, tolerates cool temps.

CARMEN
75 days, Hybrid

Heavy yields of dark red, wide-shouldered, horn-shaped sweet Italian peppers for roasting, frying or eating fresh. 28”h x 16”w compact plants are great for growing in containers.

CHOCOLATE – 70-80 days, open pollinated
This early and productive bell pepper bears up to a dozen thick-walled 6-8” tapered fruits; ripening from green to chocolate-brown with gorgeous burgundy flesh inside, really delicious rich flavor, and good juicy crunch! Eve’s favorite!

GILBOA hybrid NEW – 82 days from transplant, F-1 hybrid
A favorite blocky bright orange bell pepper, Gilboa produces excellent yields of thick-walled crunchy squat bells, as many as a dozen per plant, with an engaging fruity flavor. Bred from an American Cal-Wonder type by the Hazera youth association in Israel, it reportedly does amazingly well in the North, ripening in Zone 4 Hartland, Maine, around the 1st of September.

GOLDEN STAR hybrid – 62 days from transplant, F1 hybrid
Golden Star is sure to shine in your garden. The picture-perfect fruit is very thick walled and grows to a blocky, 4 inch size. Young peppers start out shiny and medium-green, then mature to a gorgeous, bright yellow. The crisp, sweet flavor makes this pepper perfect for fresh snacking. Great for cooking, too. Resists potato virus Y.

GYPSY   RETURNING!60 Days, Hybrid
This 1981 AAS Winner is an extremely early, heavy producer of elongated, tasty peppers with sturdy walls and crunchy, firm, sweet, flesh. The wedge-shaped, 4 to 5 inch fruits can be used at the early yellow-green stage or left to ripen to orange-red. Great for salads or stir-frying. We find it a very reliable yielder, all season long, and tolerant of hot, dry weather. Plants grow to 18” tall. Tobacco Mosaic Virus resistant.  We used to have a supplier of stabilized, open-pollinated seed of this variety, but they ‘lost’ it several years ago, so we are offering the hybrid again because it performs so well here.

JIMMY NARDELLO’S – 76 days, Italian heirloom
Listed on Slow Food’s Ark of Taste. Thin-walled, 8″ long frying peppers on very heavy-yielding plants. Long, curved, tapering pointed fruits turn deep red with shiny, wrinkled skin when ripe. The wonderful sweet, mild flavor is good raw, in stir-fries, and especially fried. Brought to Connecticut in 1887 from Southern Italy by Jimmy Nardello’s mother.

JUPITER   NEW!70-75 days, Open-Pollinated
A long-time favorite OP variety that rivals the hybrids in earliness, size and productivity, and has better flavor. The large, blocky, 4-lobed fruits are thick-walled, sweet and flavorful, ripening to ruby red. Great for stuffing, stir-frying, salads, freezing. Sturdy, productive, 30” plants are widely adapted and resistant to Tobacco Mosaic Virus. Usually has a dense leaf canopy; if not, protect developing fruits from sunscald. Provide extra support for branches bearing heavy fruits!

KING OF THE NORTH – 70 days, open pollinated
Reliable yields of large sweet blocky bells turn from green to red; prolific yields even in short-season areas and cool climates.

MARCONI RED

MINIATURE BELL MIXED
90 days, Heirlooom, Open Pollinated
These little, thin-walled 1-2” bell peppers ripen to gold, chocolate or red. They make colorful stuffed appetizers, and are great for pickling. Several of the short, stout, productive plants can be grown together in a large pot. Paradoxically, though small-fruited, they ripen fairly late.

QUADRATO d’ASTI GIALLO 80 days, open pollinated
Fruits are HUGE with very thick deep red flesh and have delicious, sweet rich flavor. Excellent for stuffing, frying or salads. One of the largest red bells, beautiful and blocky.

ROUND of HUNGARY Pimiento  NEW!
75 days, Open-Pollinated

A choice specialty pimento ‘cheese’ (shaped like a wheel of cheese) pepper. delicious flesh. Distinctive, ribbed, flattened fruits avg. 2-2 1/2″ x 3-3 1/2″, turn deep red early, and have very thick, sweet flesh. They are great for stuffed peppers, in cooking, and in salads. 2’-tall plants are productive.

SHISHITO

SWEET BANANA   NEW!
60 days, Open Pollinated

Sweet Banana is delightfully tangy and colorful. The long, curved fruits start out light citron yellow, and turn scarlet when fully ripe, staying sweet and mild. A longtime favorite for its sweet flavor that is pleasantly pungent when pickled. Plants fruit prolifically, easily producing up to 25 to 30 pods per plant. Banana peppers are great for frying and pickling, and are an excellent choice for making pepper rings for sandwiches. 18-24” plants are great for growing in containers.

YANKEE BELL


PEPPERS – HOT:

ANAHEIM – 78 days, open pollinated
Old favorite ‘Chile Verde’ for rellenos. The 7″ tapered fruits are pungent but not very hot.

ANAHEIM ‘M’ – 85 days, open pollinated
Not as hot as a typical Anaheim.  High yields of 7” x 1” tapered fruits are great fresh, dried, roasted or pickled.  From New Mexico.

ANCHO/POBLANO – Heirloom
Very popular! Large, deep green heart-shaped medium to mild chile, the standard for rellenos, mole, soups and salsa fresca.  Most of the heat is found in the ribs and seeds.  It is particularly popular during the Mexican independence festivities as part of a dish called chiles en nogada, considered one of Mexico’s most symbolic dishes by its nationals, and incorporates green, white and red ingredients corresponding to the colors of the Mexican flag. After being roasted and peeled (which improves the texture by removing the waxy skin), poblano peppers are preserved by either canning or freezing. Storing them in airtight containers keeps them for several months.  When dried, the poblano turns black-red and becomes a broad, flat, heart-shaped pod called an ancho chile (meaning “wide”); from this form, it is usually ground into a powder used as flavoring in various dishes.

AURORA –85 days, open-pollinated
With a Scoville heat rating of 30,000 – 50,000, Aurora’s fruits are 4 to 20 times hotter than a jalapeno, surprisingly spicy for such a candy-like array of colors – shades of green, purple, yellow, orange, and red all on the same pepper plant. A good fit for colorful spicy salsas or pickles. Aurora grows to about a foot in height.

BEAVER DAM – NEW – 80 days from transplant, OP
Hungarian heirloom brought to Beaver Dam, WI in 1912 by the Joe Hussli family. Yields enormous crops of medium-hot peppers on compact pants. Fruits ripen from lime-green to red-orange and are mildly hot when seeded. Horn-shaped fruit average 6” long and 2 ½” at the shoulder, tapering to a blunt point. Sweet, dynamic pepper flavor shines through the slow-building heat. Perfect for stuffing, in traditional goulash, or for magnificent pickled peppers. Beaver Dam’s flavor and heritage warranted inclusion in Slow Food’s Ark of Taste. Florence Hussli recommends adding crisp sliced rings to a cheese and bologna sandwich, or using for stuffed peppers.

BIG JIM – 85 days, open pollinated
A very popular chile. Medium-hot large 8” fruits are excellent roasted and stuffed for chile rellenos.

BULGARIAN CARROT (aka Shipka) – 68 days, heirloom
Glossy fluorescent orange, thin-walled 1.5” – 3.5” tapered peppers are fruity and hot, borne in clusters near the main stem on a compact plant.  Use in chutney, salsa, marinade, hot sauce, or dried and ground. 

CABALLERO ANCHO/POBLANO  NEW!
65 days green, 85 days red, Hybrid, Mild to Medium heat

These relatively mild hot peppers have a perfect balance of heat and sweet rich flavor in their thick flesh and ribs. Known as Poblanos when green and Anchos when ripened and dried, they are used for Chile Rellenos, roasting, stuffing, making chili powder and sauces, especially the classic mole. Large uniform glossy very dark green 3-lobed elongated fruit (3½–6″ long x 3″ wide) with a recessed stem, will mature to a deep brick red. Extremely productive in northern climates, the 3½’ tall plants set 12–20 fruits per plant. They are very versatile and can be dried, frozen or canned. Staking may be necessary. Approx. 1,000-1800 Scoville units.

CAYENNE, LARGE THICK 75 days from transplant, open pollinated
A Cayenne pepper with distinctly larger and thicker-walled fruits, which are moderately hot (2,000-4,000 Scovilles) and turn fiery red at maturity. The plant is fairly open in structure, so plant 2 together for better sunscald protection. The long, narrow peppers dry easily and are great for hot sauces, pickles, curries, chili and salsa.

CHIMAYO

CUBANELLE  NEW!
70-80 days, Heirloom, Open-Pollinated, Very Mild heat
Also known as “Cuban pepper” and “Italian frying pepper”, Cubanelle is a variety of sweet pepper with just a touch of heat (~1000 on the Scoville scale), commonly used in Cuban, Puerto Rican and Dominican cuisines. When unripe, the 6-8” fruit is light yellowish-green, but turns bright red if allowed to ripen. Prized for its sweet, mild flesh, rich flavor, and pretty colors. Cubanelle is thin-walled, especially suited for quick cooking and has a low water content. Best picked when yellow-green for use in roasting, stuffing, pizza topping, frying, a substitute for Anaheims, or in a yellow mole, and is one of the traditional ingredients in sofrito. 

CZECH BLACK – NEW – 65 days from transplant, Heirloom OP
Czech Black is an heirloom chili pepper from the Czech Republic. Very juicy 2 ½”- long peppers are the same shape as Jalapeno and have a great flavor. 2,000 to 5,000 scovilles. Plants grow 2 ½ 0 3’ tall. Black when immature, the stunning conical peppers ripen to lustrous garnet. Mild juicy thick-walled flesh runs with a cherry-red juice when cut. The heat, a tad less than a jalapeño, is in the ribs and seeds. One grower, in Maine, has candied slivered Czech Blacks like citrus peel for a spicy-sweet holiday treat. Bears very early with 20 pointed thick-walled peppers per 2½–3′ plant.

EARLY JALAPENO – 75 days, open pollinated
3″x1″ fruits, very hot, early, use green or red in salsa, etc.

FISH  –  NEW!
80 days, Heirloom, Open-Pollinated, Medium heat

A unique African-American pepper that was introduced to the mid-Atlantic region in the 1870s, probably having originated in the Caribbean islands. There it gained a strong foothold in the oyster and crab houses of the Philadelphia/Baltimore/Chesapeake Bay region. Beautiful 18-24″ plants  have showy green and white variegated foliage, and striped, 2-3″ long pendant fruits. Starting out an unusual cream color striped with green, the fruits ripen to orange with brown stripes, before turning all red. The young cream-colored peppers were used for adding a kick to the creamy sauces that topped seafood. An attractive choice for containers.

GUAJILLO Chile
75 days, Heirloom, Open-Pollinated, Medium Heat

Guajillo chile peppers are very common to Mexican cooking, and are the workhorse of chiles there. The guajillo, ancho, and pasilla are referred to as the “Holy Trinity of Chiles”. They are all used together to make authentic Mexican mole sauces. Fruits grow to 4-6″ long with thin flesh and shiny reddish brown color. Their  very distinctive flavor is sweet and smoothly warm, making them a perfect addition to hot chocolate, or any chocolate! The plants are very productive and grow well in dry climates. Heat Level: Medium  Scoville 3000 – 5000

HABANERO (aka SCOTCH BONNET) – 90-120 days, heirloom
By popular demand: one of the most blisteringly fiery peppers, from 200,000 to 325,000 Scoville units (compare with Early Jalapeno at 4,000 to 6,500 Scovilles!). Small plants to 18” tall will set 10-20 pendulous dark green fruits which mature to bright orange. Great for greenhouse and container growing. Likes night-time temperatures 70 degrees and above. Key ingredient in West Indian jerk sauce.

HUNGARIAN HOT WAX – 70 days, Hot, Heirloom. These longtime favorites are tapering peppers 7” long and 2” wide, ripening from green to bright light yellow, to red, starting out mild, heat building as they ripen. Easy to grow and one of the very best hot peppers for short-season and cool climates. Very prolific, tolerates crowding (~4 plants in a very large pot). Eat raw in salads, brushed with olive oil and grilled, sautéed with garlic, brined and canned, stuffed, etc.

JALAPENO

LANTERNA PICCANTE – 85 days or longer, open pollinated, original seed brought to Eve from Italy
Unique, brilliant scarlet, small, pendant peppers shaped like flaring bells are gracefully borne mostly on the main stem of tall, exceptionally pretty plants. Flesh of the fruits is tasty and mildly piquant, seeds and ribs are hotter. Traditionally used to season pasta dishes, but they’re so ornamental, we recommend growing some for arranging in a vase too! If season is cut short, harvested green they will ripen to scarlet quickly indoors. We grow ours 2 to a big pot – some years the plants have reached over 5′ tall and born over 90 peppers!

MOSCO
75 days, Open-Pollinated

This new variety of Pueblo Mirasol chile pepper with fleshier fruit for grilling, was developed in Colorado by Michael Bartolo, a researcher with CO Fruit & Vegetable Assoc. He worked on the Mosco variety for 25 years as a personal side project, starting with seeds from his uncle Harry Mosco’s farm, selecting for improved yield, larger fruit, and uniformity.
Mirasol is Spanish for ‘looking at the sun,’ referring to the way the peppers stand upright on the plant. Mirasol Pueblo chiles have been grown in southern Colorado for roughly 100 years, especially the Arkansas Valley area. Fruits are 6” long, 1.5” wide at shoulder, on 30” tall plants.
Compared to a typical Anaheim pepper, Mosco has a more pungent, smoky, fruity taste. It’s estimated at 5,000 to 6,000 Scoville units – milder than jalapeno, hotter than Anaheim peppers. The fruits are hard to detach from the plant, so cut them off with scissors or clippers to avoid breaking the brittle larger branches.M

MULATTO
76 days, Heirloom, Open-Pollinated, Mild heat

A wonderful mild chile with sweet flavor. It is has the heart or wedge shape of a Poblano, but is slightly larger and sweeter. It matures to a rich chocolate brown and is sometimes called chocolate poblano. Mulattos can be used in both the immature and mature stage, and uses include making rellenos, salsa, roasting, and drying. The dried Mulatto is an essential ingredient in authentic mole sauce. Mulatto is 3” wide and 6“ long. It has a distinctive sweet flavor and ripens from deep glossy green to rich dark chocolate brown. Fruits grow all season on sturdy 3’ tall plants. Heat Level: Mild  Scoville 1,000 – 1,500.

NEW MEXICO #6 – Open pollinated
A very mild chili, best used green, all purpose, early, drought-tolerant, delicious.  One of our most popular chiles, and well adapted to our climate.

NuMex JOE E. PARKER
75 days, Open-Pollinated
An 8”-long, thick-walled, mildly hot (500 – 2500 Scoville Heat Units) Anaheim type pepper excellent for stuffing or roasting.  Turns red when mature and is used in New Mexico for dried pepper wreaths and ristras. A unique feature of this pepper is its incredible continuing production after the initial harvest. 

PADRON – NEW – 60 days from transplant, Heirloom, OP
These small-fruited peppers originated in Galicia, northwest Spain, where the bite-sized, thin-skinned green fruits are sauteed in olive oil and served with coarse-ground sea salt in tapas bars across the country. Most of the peppers are sweet and relatively mild, but an occasional unpredictable hot one led a New York Times writer to call eating the dish a game of “Spanish Roulette!” Also fine for pickling. For tapas, pick while small and green, less than 3” long. The heat seems to increase with size and as they ripen to red, and as the season progresses. Plants are large, vigorous and very high-yielding. Can be grown in containers. An authentic regional variety.

PASILLA BAJIO – 78 days, open pollinated
Easy, prolific 4-8″ long dark brown, smoky, fruity, a ‘secret’ ingredient in award-winning chili.

PURPLE BEAUTY

PURPLE JALAPENO

SANDIA HOT – 85-100 days, open pollinated
Early maturing, productive, mildly hot 7 x 1” high-quality fruits ripen from green to red.  Often used green, fresh or pickled, or dried when red.

SANTA FE GRANDE

SERRANO ‘Hidalgo’ – 85 days, heirloom
Originated in the mountains of Mexico. Plants are 2-3’ tall, and the 2.5-4” blunt peppers are about 5 times hotter than Jalapeno.  Use fresh, no steaming or peeling required.

TABASCO – Heirloom, 85 days.
Imported to the US in 1846 from Tabasco, Mexico, this pepper made its way to Avery Island, LA, where the McIlhenny family used it in a hot sauce that became so popular and famous that now Tabasco sauce is synonymous with hot sauce. The 2”-long, tapered Tabasco is a very hot pepper, borne in copious quantities on a short, compact plant.

THAI HOT