Another Chilli identified

Another one bites the dust

In a previous post, I discussed identifying the species of unknown Chillies by their flowers. After writing the post, I decided to try and identify the unknown Chilli that I have ripening under grow lights.  I believe I have succeeded in doing just that, but it was not that easy. I think this time I just got lucky. It certainly wasn’t through any great skill on my part.

I didn’t have much to work on at all. I had absolutely no idea where the Chilli might have come from. It certainly doesn’t look like any Chilli I intentionally planted. The seed that this Chilli started from  must have been in a packet of another variety I bought for this season.  The only way to identify this Chilli was to use a process of elimination, as I have done when I identified other unknown Chillies.

I was able to immediately eliminate Capsicum Baccatum and Capsicum Pubescense because of their distinctive flowers. In the case of C Bacatuum, the flowers have markings that immediately identify it as falling into this species. Similarly, the characteristic colour and form of the flowers of C Pubesccnse made it clear that the Chill did not fall into this species. The flowers on this Chilli plant are small and greenish white, with none of the characteristics mentioned above.

What is this Chilli ?

Figuring it out

From the elimination process ,I knew the plant had to fall under Capsicum Frutscens, Capiscum Chinense or Capsicum annuum. I had a suspicion right from the beginning that it might fall under C annuum.  It certainly didn’t have pods that steered me in the direction of the other two species . However it was too soon to come to any a conclusions. There was more information that needed to be gathered . So I then went about looking at the plant in detail and recorded what I saw


Armed with my notepad and pencil, I made the following observations

  • It is a dwarf variety. It is only 10 inches tall. It is in a six inch inch pot. There is a possibility t this Chill could grow taller if it was in a bigger pot
  • The plant is mature. It has already fruited. The fruit is in the process of ripening
  • The Chillies are short. They are conical and taper to a sharp point.
  • The pods are currently just under half an inch wide (10 mm) and about one and a half inches long (40mm).
  • There are already many Chillies and flowers on the plant. It appears that this Chilli is a prolific producer.
  • The fruit hangs down rather than facing skywards. Upward facing pods is a Capsicum Frutense trait. When the  fruit hangs downward. it  points more towards Capsicum annuum.
  • The flowers are greenish/white. They have no markings on their corollas. They have purple anthers. The flower has five petals that hang downwards. They are solitary on a node.


Based on this information, I think I can safely say that the plant falls under the Capsicum annuum species because of these characteristics.

What happened next?

Image search on the web

So that was the starting point. All I had was that it  is a dwarf Chilli that falls under Capsicum Annuum with short red Chillies. When considering Capsicum Annuum has thousands of cultivars and variants, that wasn’t much to go on.

But here is how I think I got lucky. I searched in images on Google under the term “short Chillies Capsicum”, and there it was. On the second line, I found a picture of an Apache F1. This image looked almost  precisely like the Chill I was trying to identify. The only difference is that the fruit in the photo is red. However, when the fruit on my plant ripens, it will also turn the same colour. Then it will look exactly like the image I found.

Research on the Apache F1

I now had to go about comparing my plant with the Apache. This is what my research revealed.

  • The Apache F1  is a dwarf variety. It only grows to between 12 and 18 inches. My plants are in small pots, so it is likely they have not grown as much as they could have
  • Apache F1 falls under Capsicum annuum.
  • It is a prolific producer and can produce up to one hundred pods in season.
  • The flowers resemble the flowers on my plant. They are  the same colour and are single on individual nodes
  • It is one of the most common Chillies found in British Gardens. So this could be how it found its way into the seed packet of another Chilli seed I purchased?
  • The Apache F1 has solitary flowers on single nodes
  • It produces fruit that resembles the fruit on my plant. They pods are conical and taper to a sharp point.
  • They take about eighty days to bear fruit. This ties in more or less with my plant

Final identifiation

All things being equal, based on my research and the images I have seen, I believe I have correctly identified the plant as an Apache F1. If this was a mistake by a seed supplier, I am delighted they got it wrong. The Apache is a great little Chilli and will also make an excellent ornamental as a house plant. I certainly intend to grow it next year.


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