Skip to comments.The Greater the Threat, the Hotter the Chili
Posted on 08/13/2008 12:51:31 AM PDT by neverdem
Like many other plants, the chili has a strategy for survival: make its fruit, the pepper, so nutritionally desirable that birds and other creatures will eat it and disperse the seeds. But the same things that make a chili pepper attractive to animals also draw bacteria and funguses that can kill the seeds.
It has been thought that the chemicals known as capsaicinoids, which surround the seeds and give peppers their characteristic heat, are the chilis way of deterring microbes. But if so, then microbial infestation should bring selective pressure on chilis the more bugs, the hotter the peppers should be.
That has never been shown in the wild. Now, however, in a study of wild chili plants, Joshua J. Tewksbury of the University of Washington and colleagues show that the variation in heat reflects the risk that the plants will be attacked by a seed-destroying fungus.
The researchers studied a species in Bolivia (where chilis are thought to have originated) that was earlier determined to be polymorphic some plants produce hot peppers,...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Whatever the case, polymorph perversity (or is it perversism?) is mighty good eating.
Morning..I hadn’t heard about that..do you have a link? Thanx
It was posted here, it's from India and I'll look and will likely have it tomorrow. I'll post it here and ping you.
Mmmmmmmm. Chili pepper...
The wife and I visited the N.M.S.U. Chili Institute in April while we were in Las Cruces watching our Fresno St. baseball team sweep 4 from the Aggies. They were the ones that discovered the 1,000,000 SU "Bhut Jolokia" chile...(they have the seeds for sale!)
Those peppers sound great but did you see the growing tips?
Please read the how to start your seeds provided very carefully and closely follow the directions.
Bhut Jolokia require soil temperatures to be between 80 and 90 degrees F for proper germination. You may need to supply bottom heat with the aid of a propagation mat.
Soil must be kept moderately moist, never being allowed to completely dry out and never allowed to become soggy. This will destroy the embryo in the seed and they will not germinate.
The Bhut Jolokia can take up to 36 days just to germinate and have a very long growing period, up to 160 days before harvest.
The Bhut Jolokia is extremely hard to grow and we do not recommend it for the novice grower/gardener. We have a very low supply of seed and cannot replace seed packets of this particular variety.
The seeds are also about $1 each. Sounds like something for the master gardeners to play with, way out of my league.
I love habanero and Scotch Bonnet peppers, but a pepper that’s more than twice as hot?!? Can it still have any actual flavor, or is it just a delivery unit for heat?
*Chili pepper ping*
Sounds like it’s just perfect for Florida..I may try it..growing, not eating...
To do list....
7)-Try the Bolivian Capsicum annuum.
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