Capsicum frutescens, Wiri Wiri Pepper

Capsicum frutescens

Wiri Wiri Pepper
Family: Solanaceae
Origin: Guyana
Small plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeFull sunRegular waterWhite, off-white flowersEdible plantSpice or herb plantSubtropical or temperate zone plant. Mature plant cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

The Wiri Wiri pepper (Capsicum frutescens) is a small plant, growing from 2-5 feet tall and wide. It is best grown in full sun, but can take a semi-shade area if necessary. This bush needs regular watering, especially when the outside temperatures are high. While not the most beautiful of flowers, the Wiri Wiri produces white, off-white blooms which turn into small spicy fruits. It is both a spice and a herb, and its fruits are edible; offering a unique taste and a powerful kick. The mature plant is cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time; making it suitable for homeowners in USDA Zone 9-11. It is an early producer of spicy fruits, with a single plant offering up to two dozen ripe peppers at a time.

The Wiri Wiri peppers offer a very unique flavor that is hard to find in other spices or herbs. The high concentration of vitamins and minerals make it a much sought after ingredient, especially for its health benefits. It is believed that Wiri Wiri peppers promote weight loss, undo nutritional deficiencies, fight fatigue, boost immunity, prevent strokes, reduce cholesterol, improve eyesight, and lower blood pressure. In a single serving, Wiri Wiri peppers are packed with three times more vitamin C, iron, and potassium than bell peppers. Whether eaten raw or cooked in your favorite dish, Wiri Wiri peppers can give a much-needed boost to any diet.

In cold regions, the Wiri Wiri pepper can be successfully grown in large pots. For best results, the pot should be fertilized several times a year and the soil should be kept moist and well aerated. In the winter months, Wiri Wiri plants should be protected by a mulch layer and kept away from cold winter winds. If the temperatures dip too low, bringing the potted pepper indoors until the weather warms is recommended.

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