Link to enlarge vase K7784 &#copy; Justin Kerr Charles Zidar

Family:  Solanaceae
Genus:  Capsicum
Species:  annuum
Authority:  L.
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?

Other Plant Photos:

Additional views of the plant species, click on a photo below to view larger image.

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