ANCIENT MAYA BOTANICAL RESEARCH
|Common Name: ||red pepper|
|Maya Name: ||Bird pepper, chile colarado, wild pepper|
|Maya Plant Use: ||Peppers are native to Mexico and Central America, and were a staple food for the Inca in Peru. Chili peppers were brought to India in the 1500's. A substance called capsaicin produces the hotness of peppers. They are part of the Nightshade family of plants. There are two varieties of peppers: (Simpson and Ogorzaly, 1995).
• The Grossum Group
The Grossum Group produces sweet peppers. Bell peppers and banana peppers fall into this category.
• The Longum Group
The Longum Group produces hot peppers, chili and cayenne, for example.
|Botanical Significance: ||Given the wide use of peppers in the region, it is surprising that this plant is not seen more often in ancient Maya art...|
|Notes: ||Found in Tehuacan, Mexico dating from 7200 to 5200 B.C. (S. Coe, 1994)
Include C. chinense?|