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Publication #HS1241

Jalapeño and Other Hot Pepper Varieties for Florida1

Monica Ozores-Hampton and Gene McAvoy 2

The jalapeño (Capsicum annuum) is derived from the Capsicum genus of the family Solanaceae (Rhodes 2009). Jalapeños are members of a diverse group, which also include ancho poblano, cayenne, serrano, Anaheim, banana, Asian, habanero, and Hungarian wax peppers. Hot peppers are classified by their heat and shape. The heat of the pepper comes from the chemical compound capsaicin, which is measured by the Scoville scale (Wright 2010). Pure capsaicin has a Scoville unit between 15,000,000–16,000,000. Bell peppers have a Scoville unit of zero, while the hottest peppers have a Scoville unit greater than 1,000,000. The jalapeño is considered relatively mild, ranging from 1,000 to 8,000. Jalapeño peppers are native to Mexico and are the most popular type of Mexican hot pepper. The name comes from Jalapa, which is the Mexican state capital of Vera Cruz. The majority of jalapeño production in Mexico and the United States is picked for canning or fresh markets. Jalapeños can be used as an ingredient in cooked or raw sauces or charred and peeled to be stuffed with cheese, meat, or fish. Chipotle is the term used for jalapeños that are allowed to ripen on the plant to a deep red color and are then dried.

The US demand for jalapeño and other hot peppers rises every year due to the growing popularity of ethnic cuisine (Burden 2012). Consumption has increased from 5.2 lb/person in 2001 to 6.9 lb/person in 2011 (Thornsbury 2012). The production of hot peppers in the United States was valued at $175 million dollars in 2012 with 20,800 acres harvested (USDA 2012). The average yield is 762 bushels/acre with an average price of $10 per bushel (10-year average). California and New Mexico produce most of the hot peppers grown in the United States, but many Florida farmers grow hot peppers as a niche crop. The growing conditions are similar to bell peppers (Stephens 2012). Seeds or transplants should be planted after the danger of frost has passed in north and central Florida, and from September to March in south Florida. Plants should be spaced 12–18 inches apart in full sun on well-drained, fertilized soil. The soil should be fertilized two to three times during the growing season. Most hot peppers take 65–75 days to mature after transplanting. Jalapeño and other hot peppers are sold during an approximate 10-month period throughout the year.

Jalapeño and Other Hot Pepper Varieties—Here is a guide of jalapeno and other hot pepper varieties used in Florida (Table 1 and 2).

Tables

Table 1. 

Jalapeño and other hot pepper varieties for Florida

Variety

Producer

Dealer

Season

(Relative Maturity)

Plant and Fruit Characteristics

Resistance

Comments

Jalapeño Peppers

Shape: Short and Stubby (Texas A&M University 2007)

Heat: Low to Medium

Capsico

Sakata Seed America, Inc.

Siegers Seed Co.

Midseason

Plants are large and vigorous with a very heavy set of extra-large and very dark green fruit. The smooth fruit is very pungent with mild checking.

R to Xcv 1–3, 7, 8, and PVY 0.1.2.

Fruit has minimum corking and anthocyanin.

Plants are widely adapted and perform well in California, Mexico, and the eastern United States.

Centella

Enza Zaden

Ahern Agribusiness, Inc., and Siegers Seed Co.

Very early season

Plants have excellent cover. The large and dark green fruit is glossy and sets well.

R to Xcv 1–3, TM 0, PVY 0, and PepMo.

Plants are extremely uniform and highly productive. They are also widely adaptable for both open field and greenhouse cultivation.

Compadre

Syngenta

Reimer Seeds, Siegers Seed Co., and Stokes

Mid-late season

Plants are vigorous and produce uniform and consistently smooth fruit. The high quality fruit is large.

R to PVY, TM, and Xcv 2, 5.

Fruit can be continuously picked with high yields, even under low temperatures. Fruit has no purpling and low cracking and has good tolerance to extreme temperatures.

El Jefe

Sakata Seed America, Inc.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Reimer Seeds, and Siegers Seed Co.

Mid-early season

Plants are widely adapted, large, vigorous, and uniform. The pungent and bullet-shaped fruit is large to extra large, very dark green to red, glossy, and smooth.

R to Xcv 1–3, 7, 8, and PVY 0.1.2. IR to TE.

Fruit has minimal cracking and purpling.

Relative Scoville rating: 4,000­–6,000

PS 11411037

Seminis Vegetable Seed, Inc.

Seminis America, Inc.

Early season

Strong and upright plants that produce fruits with excellent fruit quality and average size of 3 × 1 inches.

R to Xcv 1–3, PVY, and TM.

Relative Scoville rating: 3,500

Jalafuego

Sakata Seed America, Inc.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Organic Seed Supply, and Tomato Growers Supply Company

Midseason

Plants are large, vigorous, and strong with excellent yield. The extra-large and smooth fruit is very dark green to red. Fruit has a super high pungency and is extremely hot with excellent length.

R to Xcv 1–3, 7, 8, and PVY 0.1.2.

The extra length of the fruit makes it perfect for growing conditions that may cause fruit to shorten.

Relative Scoville rating: 4,000–6,000

Magno

Sakata Seed America, Inc.

Clifton Seed Company and Ripen Seeds

Midseason

Plants are vigorous and high yielding. The smooth fruit is extra-large to jumbo and has a very dark green to red pungent fruit color. 

R to Xcv 1–3, 7, 8, and PVY 0.1.2.

Fruit is well adapted to Mexico and the United States.

Mammoth

US Agriseeds

Reimer Seeds and Siegers Seed Co.

65–70 days

Plants produce high quality, uniform, and dark-green fruit that average 5.1 × 2 inches.

R to TM and PVY.

Relative Scoville rating: 2,500–5,000

SV7017HJ

Seminis Vegetable Seed, Inc.

Seminis America, Inc.

Early to mid-season

Medium, upright plant that produces fruit with average size of 3.7 × 1.4 inches. Excellent fruit quality with no anthocyanin.

R to Xcv 1–3 and PVY.

Relative Scoville rating: 3,000

Tacana

Abbott and Cobb, Inc.

Abbott and Cobb, Inc., and Siegers Seed Co.

Main season

Large and upright plants that produce very attractive and large, long fruit. The very pungent and thick-walled fruit is tapered and dark green.

R to Xcv 1–3, PVY, and TM.

Relative Scoville rating: 1,000–5,000

Telica

Abbott and Cobb, Inc.

Abbott and Cobb, Inc., and Siegers Seed Co.

Midseason

Plants are strong and upright that produce high yields of smooth, very large, and dark green fruit with blunt ends.

R to Xcv 1–3, PVY, and TM.

Fruit resists cracking and purpling.

Tormenta

US Agriseeds

Reimer Seeds and Siegers Seed Co.

77 days

Vigorous plants that consistently set large, dark green, and thick-walled fruit. Fruit has a smooth skin over a prolonged production cycle.

R to Xcv 1–3.

Fruit resists cracking and purpling and is usually used fresh or pickled when green. Fruit is great for making salsa.

Relative Scoville rating: 3,000–4,000

Ancho Poblano Peppers

Shape: Flat and round with a blunt end (Texas A&M University 2007)

Heat: Low

Masivo

US Agriseeds

Ripen Seeds and Siegers Seed Co.

70–75 days

Plants produce fruit 7.5 × 3 inches. The dark green, extra-large, and high-quality fruit has two smooth veins that are flat and uniform in shape.

R to TM.

Relative Scoville rating: 1,500–4,000

San Ardo

US Agriseeds

Reimer Seeds and Ripen Seeds

70–75 days

Plants are vigorous, with high yields of 6 × 3 inch fruit that turns from green to red when mature.

PVY, TM, and Tobamo P0.

Relative Scoville rating: 1,500–4,000

Tiburon

Sakata Seed America, Inc.

Chile Plant.com, Harris Seeds, Jung, Park Seed, and Reimer Seeds

Midseason

Plants are large and vigorous with continuous fruit setting for an extended harvest. The shiny and dark green fruit is about 5–6 × 3 inches and is mildly pungent. Fruit matures red.

None

Relative Scoville rating: 1,000–3,000

Cayenne peppers

Shape: Long and curved (Texas A&M University 2007)

Heat: Medium to High

Cheyenne

Sakata Seed America, Inc.

Harris Seeds, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Organic Seed Supply, Reimer Seeds, and West Coast Seeds

Early-season

Plants are compact and vigorous and produce wrinkled and pungent fruit. The 8- to 9-inch long fruit has a great aroma.

None

Fruit can be harvested 10–14 days earlier than most standard varieties on the market with no sacrifice in fruit quality. Fruit is harvested early for fresh markets and processing.

Relative Scoville rating: 2,000–4,000

Iberia

Lark Seed

Seedway

71 days

Plants are strong and medium to tall in size. Plants produce dull green or red fruit that grows 11 × 2 inches.

None

Plants produce very early fruit. Fruit is similar to Mesilla in heat but has a thicker flesh.

Mesilla

Seminis Vegetable Seed, Inc.

Chile Plants.com, Harris Seeds, Organic Seeds Supply, Reimer Seeds, Ripen Seeds, Siegers Seed Co., Stokes, and Tomato Growers Supply

85–90 days

Plants produce hot and very long fruit, which is about 9–11 × 1.5 inches.

R to Tobamo P0 and PVY 0. IR to TE and PepMo.

Fruit can be used either green or red.

Relative Scoville rating: 2,000–4,000

Serrano Peppers

Shape: Slim and slightly club-shaped (Texas A&M University 2007)

Heat: Medium to High

Camino Real

Harris Moran Seed Company

Clifton Seed Company, Harris Seeds, and Seedway

Midseason

Plants produce large, green fruit.

R to PVY 1. IR to TE.

Plants have excellent yield across all growing areas. Organic seed available.

Devil

US Agriseeds

Chile Plants.com, Reimer Seeds, Siegers Seed Co., and Totally Tomato

72–75 days

Plant produces 3- to 4-inch-long fruit that is dark green.

R to PepMoV, PVY, TE.

Relative Scoville rating: 3,500­–6,000

Anaheim peppers

Shape: Long and tapered (Texas A&M University 2007)

Heat: Low

Charger

US Agriseeds

Seedway and Siegers Seed Co.

Main season

Plants are erect and vigorous with excellent foliage. Plants produce fruit that grows 7.5 × 1.5 inches and matures from green to red.

R to TSW.

Fruit is flavorful with mild heat.

Habanero

Shape: Small and lantern-shaped

Heat: Extremely High

Chicken Itza

Seminis Vegetable Seed, Inc.

Chili Pepper Seeds, Tomato Growers Supply Company, and Reimer Seeds

115­–120 days

Plants are strong and produce an excellent fruit set. Fruit matures from green to orange and measures approximately 2 × 1 inches.

R to Tobamo P0.

Relative Scoville rating: 15,000–18,000

Hungarian Wax Peppers

Shape: Long and conical (Texas A&M University 2007)

Heat: Low

SV3301HW

Seminis Vegetable Seed, Inc.

Seminis America, Inc.

Early to mid-season

Strong, branching plant with concentrated fruit set. Typical hot Hungarian wax with average fruit size of 8 × 1.6 inches.

R to Xcv 1–3 and TSW.

Relative Scoville rating: 1,500

Table 2. 

Disease key to abbreviations

PepMo

Pepper mottle virus

PVY

Potato virus Y

TE

Tobacco etch virus

TM

Tobacco mosaic virus

Tobamo P0

Tobamo virus (Tobamo virus P0)

TSW

Tomato spotted wilt virus

Xcv 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Bacterial leaf spot (Xanthomonas campestris pv. Vesicatoria)

R

Resistance

IR

Intermediate resistance (shows less severe symptoms than susceptible varieties)

Note: While this list includes a number of varieties currently popular with Florida growers, it is by no means a comprehensive list of all varieties that may be adapted to the state.

Figure 1. 

Capsico


Credit:

Sakata Seed America, Inc.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 2. 

Centella


Credit:

Enza Zaden


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 3. 

Compadre


Credit:

Syngenta


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 4. 

El Jefe


Credit:

Sakata Seed America, Inc.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 5. 

PS 11411037


Credit:

Seminis Vegetable Seed, Inc.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 6. 

Jalafuego


Credit:

Sakata Seed America, Inc.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 7. 

Magno


Credit:

Sakata Seed America, Inc.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 8. 

Mammoth


Credit:

US Agriseeds


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 9. 

SV7017HJ


Credit:

Seminis Vegetable Seed, Inc.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 10. 

Tacana


Credit:

Abbott and Cobb, Inc.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 11. 

Telica


Credit:

Abbott and Cobb, Inc.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 12. 

Tormenta


Credit:

US Agriseeds


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 13. 

Masivo


Credit:

US Agriseeds


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 14. 

San Ardo


Credit:

US Agriseeds


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 15. 

Tiburon


Credit:

Sakata Seed America, Inc.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 16. 

Cheyenne


Credit:

Sakata Seed America, Inc.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 17. 

Iberia


Credit:

Seedway


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 18. 

Mesilla


Credit:

Seminis Vegetable Seed, Inc.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 19. 

Camino Real


Credit:

Harris Moran Seed Company


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 20. 

Devil


Credit:

US Agriseeds


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 21. 

Charger


Credit:

US Agriseeds


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 22. 

Chichen Itza


Credit:

Seminis Vegetable Seed, Inc.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 23. 

SV3301HW


Credit:

Seminis Vegetable Seed, Inc.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

References

Burden, D., and D. Huntrods. 2012. Bell and Chili Peppers. AgMRC (Agricultural Marketing Resource Center), Iowa State University. http://www.agmrc.org/commodities__products/vegetables/bell-and-chili-peppers/.

National Garden Bureau. 2007. Horticulture Update. Classifying Chile Peppers. Texas Cooperative Extension, National Garden Bureau. http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/newsletters/hortupdate/hortupdate_archives/2007/Jul07/ClassifChilePeppers.html.

Stephens, J. M. 2012. Pepper, Chili—Capsicum annuum L. and Capsicum frutescens L. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mv112.

Thornsbury S., A. Jerardo, and H. F. Wells. 2012. Vegetables and Pulses Yearbook Data. US Department of Agriculture. 20 Aug 2013. http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/ers/VEGANDPULSESYEARBOOK/2012/89011.pdf.

US Department of Agriculture. 2012. Statistics of Vegetables and Melons. 20 Aug 2013. http://www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/Ag_Statistics/2012/chapter04.pdf.

Wright, S. 2013. Heirloom Vegetables. Cooperative Extension Service. Univ. KY, College Agri. http://www.uky.edu/Ag/NewCrops/introsheets/heirloom.pdf.

Footnotes

1.

This document is HS1241, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 2013. Revised October 2014. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Monica Ozores-Hampton, assistant professor, UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, Immokalee, FL 34142; and Gene McAvoy, county director and agent, UF/IFAS Extension Hendry County; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.