Capsicum annuum

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Capsicum annuum L.

Solanaceae

Life form: annual or biennial
Usage: economic plant

Exposure: sun   10

Moisture: dry bis Moisture: moderately moist

Soil: sandy loam - Soil: gritty loam

Arrangement: alternate
Leaves: decidious

Shape: ovate

Division: simple

Shape: campanulate
Fruit: berry

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Inflorescence: solitary

Petals: not specified
Habit: not specified

Growth form: not specified

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Rosopsida
Subclassis:
Lamiidae
Superordo:
Solananae
Ordo:
Solanales

Capsicum annuum belongs to the group of annual and biennial plants.

Naming

Capsicum annuum was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.

Common Names

  • green pepper
  • red pepper
  • sweet pepper

Taxonomy

Capsicum annuum is the type species of the genus Capsicum which contains approximately 43 to 97 species and belongs to the family of the Solanaceae (Nightshade Family).

Characteristics

Growth

The plants reach heights of 20 to 80 centimetres. The plants reach a width of 0.6 to 1 metres.

Leaves

Capsicum annuum is deciduous. The dark-green, simple leaves are alternate. They are ovate, entire and petiolate. The surface of the leaves is glabrous.

Flowers and Fruits

Capsicum annuum produces solitary white campanulate flowers from June to September. The plants are hermaphroditic.

From autumn to winter the plants produce green berries that are both edible and very ornamental.

Root System

Distribution

Capsicum annuum is native to South America and Mexico.

Cultivation

The plants prefer a sunny situation on moist soil. The substrate should be sandy-loamy or gritty-loamy soil. They tolerate temperatures only above at least 1°C (USDA zone 10).

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • none: drought

Uses

Suited as container plant and as indoor plant.

Maintenance and Propagation

The plants usually need very little maintenance.


Cultivars

Pests and Diseases

Honeydew, galls and distorted leaves are a sign for an infestation with aphids. Use an insecticide or control biologically , e.g. with parasitic wasps or predators such as Aphidoletes aphidimyza.

Cankers indicate an infection with fireblight. Generously remove affected parts and destroy them.

Mealy excreta on leaves, flowers or fruits indicate in infestation with caterpillars. Crush eggs, handpick and destroy caterpillars. Also apply insecticide or use biological pest control.

A powdery white coat on the plants indicates an infection with powdery mildew. Remove affected plants and apply a fungicide. To prevent infection improve ventilation, keep the roots moist and do not water the plants from above.

White tufts or white covering on the lower surface of the leaves indicates an infection with downy mildew. Remove affected plants and apply a fungicide. To prevent infection improve ventilation, keep the roots moist and do not water the plants from above.

Fine webs on the plants indicate an infestation with red spider mites. These sap-sucking insects mainly appear under glass and can be controlled either with insecticide or biologically with parasitic mites.

Sudden wilting and pale green discolouration indicate a fungal infection (phytophthora). Remove infected plants. Avoid by improving drainage and over-fertilization.

White spots on flowers and leaves in combination with buds that do not open indicate an infestation with thrips. These insects can be controlled by improving ventilation and by watering regularly as well as by using an insecticide or biolocial pest control (predatory mites).

Honeydew and sooty mould indicate an infestation with whiteflies. The larvae look like those of mealy bugs, the adults suck sap on the undersides of the leaves. Apply insecticide, under glass control biologically.

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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