Bird pepper, Cayenne pepper
Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum
Solanaceae


Landscape Uses:

Kitchen gardens.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

A somewhat rare and ephemeral understory component of coastal hammocks.
Availability:
Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.
Description:
Small short-lived shrubby herb with dark green shiny leaves.
Height:
Typically 2-3 feet in height. Often about as broad as tall.
Growth Rate:
Fast.
Range:
Southern United States south mostly along the Florida coasts to the Monroe County Keys; West Indies, Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Rare and ephemeral throughout its range in South Florida.
Habitats:
Coastal hammocks.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained limestone or calcareous sandy soils, with humusy top layer.
Nutritional Requirements:
Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Moderate; tolerates brackish water or occasional inundation by salt water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.
Drought Tolerance:
Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.
Light Requirements:
Light shade to full sun.
Flower Color:
White.
Flower Characteristics:
Semi-showy.
Flowering Season:
All year.
Fruit:
Red berry. Edible (very hot!).
Wildlife and Ecology:
Birds (especially mockingbirds) eat the green, un-ripened peppers
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed.
Comments:
A short-lived plant, generally living 1-2 years. It recruits readily in the garden from seed but does not become aggressive.


Keith A. Bradley
Keith A. Bradley
Roger L. Hammer