Bolivian rainbow Chilli

Somewhere over the ….?

This Chilli certainly didn’t get its name by mistake. Indeed,  It produces chillies in various brilliant colours that could easily be mistaken as being part of a rainbow. The Bolivian Rainbow is an ornamental plant that has been cultivated in Bolivia for thousands of years. Because of its striking beauty. It has now found its way into the homes of Chilli growers as an ornamental houseplant.

The Bolivian Rainbow Chilli produces purple, yellow, orange and red conical shaped pods. It is this colour sequence that the pods ripen on the plant. The different colours being simply different stages of ripeness.  The purple pods are the youngest and first to appear. When the pods are fully ripe, they are red, having gone through yellow and orange before getting to this stage. The pods are about an inch in length

While the pods point upwards ( a trait more common to the C frutescens species), the Bolivian Rainbow Chilli falls under C Annuum. The bush can grow up to 3 feet tall. To prevent the plant growing to this size, if grown for ornamental reasons, the size of the pot it is planted in will need to be reasonably small. Bolivian Rainbows prefer a warm environment. This one of the reasons that it can be successfully grown as a houseplant.

Bolivian Rainbow Chillies are prolific producers. The Chillies are reasonably hot, measuring 10000 to  30000 SHU on the Scoville rating system. The flavour is not particularly exciting, being described as bell peppery, but with a bite. They can be used to add colour to salads and make Chilli powder & flakes. It is certainly is not a Chilli to be considered, because it adds any unique flavour to a dish.