Chilli varieties

There are about 4,000 varieties of chili in the world. These can be divided into five Capsicum species and a further 28 wild forms.

Cultivated chilli varieties can usually be assigned to these five species:

  • Capsicum annuum
  • Capsicum baccatum
  • Capsicum chinense
  • Capsicum frutescens
  • Capsicum pubescens

The largest group is Capsicum annum, while particularly sharp chillies regularly belong to Capsicum chinense. More rare are wild chili varieties which can be divided into around 28 subspecies. In different sources this number varies slightly. Sometimes their unambiguous determination is not easy.

Diversity of varietiesšŸŒ¶

Chili plants have been cultivated by humans for about 6,000 years. Excavations have shown that the hot berries were collected and eaten much earlier. Chili plants spread across the American continent from Mexico to Brazil, Cuba and finally from the southern states of the USA to Chile.

When Christopher Columbus brought capsicum plants with him from his travels, the spice quickly became known in Europe as “Spanish pepper”. A characteristic that immediately catches the eye is its sharpness. This is divided into a degree of sharpness of 0 to 10 or more precisely on the Scoville scale. Habaneros are located at the upper end of the scale because they are the sharper chilli varieties. Bhut Jolokia, Trinidad Moruga Scorpion and Carolina Reaper show that it goes even further, because they are known worldwide as the sharpest chillies.

In addition to the pungency, their pods differ in taste, size and colour of the ripe fruit.

Birdseye chili

Bird's Eye Chili

Birds Eye is a chili variety from Africa. In Ethiopia, among other places, it still grows wild. They are small but productive chili plants. So it is not surprising:

Piri piri peppers

Piri Piri Chili

Can you give me the Piri Piri? A simple question with many meanings. Is this pickled small red chili peppers, chicken, sauce, powder . What is Piri Piri?

Rocoto blossom

Rocoto Plants

Rocotos are conspicuously interesting chili plants. The chili variety originally comes from the mountains of South America. Read more:

Bishops crown peppers

Bishops Crown Chili

Fruits of the Bishops Crown Chili have an atypical shape, which reminds of a bishop's cap or bell. This is why the chili plant is also aptly described as bell chili:

Habanero plant

Habanero chili plant

Habanero is a beautiful and hot chili variety. The chilli is popular for gardens and balconies as it grows compact and bushy.

Black pearl pepper

Chili Black Pearl

The unique ornamental pepper Black Pearl rightly bears the name black pearl. Its berry-like fruits ripen from green to black to red. Wonderful plant. Read more:

Jalapeno chilli

Jalapeno Chili Variety

JalapeƱo is one of the most popular chilli varieties. JalapeƱos were named after the city of Jalapa. Today this city in Mexico is called "Xalapa de Enrƭquez".

Bhut jolokia

Bhut Jolokia Chili

Bhut Jolokia, the ghosts' chili pepper, was in the Guinness Book of Records from 2007 to 2011 as the hottest chili in the world. Read More about the ghost pepper:


Pepperoni Lombardo

Lombardo is an old Italian pepperoni variety. It is also known as Lombardi, then already preserved in vinegar or oil. Pepperoni is the Italian term for hot chillies.

Aji amarillo

Aji Amarillo Chilli Variety

Aji Amarillo are mainly in Peru widespread chillies. Hardly any other type of chili is used as frequently as its yellow fruits. In the Andes you will find wild plants on their way to the historically important monuments.

Tabasco chili plants

Tabasco chili plant

Tabasco is the most frequently mentioned name of a chili variety. It is famous for its Tabasco sauce, which is made from its pods

Cayenne peppers

De Cayenne Chilli Variety

Chili de Cayenne is a popular and widespread chilli variety. Adult plants are 60 to 80 cm high and carry many thin-fleshed pods. Their chillies are often dried and ground into cayenne pepper.

7 pot chili

7 Pot Chili Varieties

An unusually hot and tasty chili variety are 7 Pot's. It bears the name 7 Pot because Caribbeans season seven pots full of food with one of their pods. Read more:

Naga morich

Naga Morich Chili

Naga Morich, the "snake chili" is related to the Jolokia chili varieties (Bih, Bhut, Naga). Their pods and degree of sharpness are remarkably similar. Scoville:

Gorria chili pepper

Chili Gorria

The hilly Basque Country is probably home to the oldest variety of chillies in Europe. Legend has it that the Basque navigator Gonzalo de Percartegu brought chilli seeds from the New World to his homeland.

Scotch bonnet plant

Habanero Scotch Bonnet Chili Variety

The fruits of the Scotch Bonnet Chili look like tartan caps with small bobbles. The Habanero has given this flat shape its name. Read more:

Anaheim chili

Anaheim Chilli variety

Anaheim is perhaps the best chilli variety for BBQ. The history of Anaheim Chili began in New Mexico, where the renowned agronomist Dr. Fabian Garcia cultivated these chilies.

Caribbean red habanero

Caribbean Red Habanero

Habanero Caribbean Red is a very spicy chilli variety. It has a fruity, slightly smoky aroma. When the extreme sharpness of up to 450,000 Scoville decreases, Read More!

Cherry chili

Cherry Pepper Chili Variety

Cherry peppers belong to the 10 great varieties that a chili grower should have grown once in his life. Their fruits are reminiscent of gigantically large cherries:

Poblano peppers

Poblano and Ancho Chilli

Poblano is a type of chili with a slight pungency. It originates from the area around the Mexican city of Puebla and is just as popular there as jalapenos.


Shishito - Japanese Lion Head Chili

Small lion heads can be seen at the tips of the chilli peppers. For this reason it was given the fitting name Shishito in its original cultivation area in Japan.

Prairie fire

Prairie Fire ornamental chili

Prairie Fire chillies are edible ornamental chillies with a beautiful, bushy growth. The plants are perfect for indoor cultivation and look also good in the garden.

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Chili Care

Chili plants care and cultivation in the garden, balcony and indoor. When caring for chilies , you should ensure a sunny location, good soil, water and fertilizer. For more, read here:

Chili spice nav image


Chillies are eaten fresh or preserved after harvesting. They can be frozen, dried and freshly processed into appetizing bites. Read more...


Interesting facts

Chillies are easy to grow. Native Americans cultivated them almost 10,000 years ago. They came to Europe through Christopherus Columbus. More interesting facts.