Closeup of fruits, foliage, and flower
|Scoville scale||30,000–60,000 SHU|
Pequin has a compact habit, growing typically 0.3–0.6 meters tall, with bright green, ovate leaves and small berries that rarely exceed 2 cm in length. Like most chilies, the berries start out green, ripening to brilliant red at maturity. Pequin peppers are very hot, often 5-8 times hotter than jalapeños on the Scoville scale (30,000 to 60,000 Units). Flavor is described as citrusy, smoky (if dried with wood smoke), and nutty.
The name Pequin is thought to come from the Spanish pequeño, meaning small. Its fruit is oblong and is found in the wild from the American Southwest to the Andes. It is grown both wild and commercially harvested in Mexico.
Pequin peppers are highly valued in Mexico, often costing more than 10 times the price of other peppers, but their cultivation is limited due to low seed germination (15% average germination rate) and susceptibility to disease. Pequins prefer moderate shade levels (35% shade) and daily watering, though they are drought tolerant. In the wild, Pequins grow in the understory of trees as perennials; under cultivation, they are grown as annuals as disease susceptibilities limits their growth. Seeds germinate in 7 to 28 days, require 60 to 90 days for seedling development, and require 90 to 100 days after transplant to produce commercial fruit.
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- Valiente-Banuet, Juan I.; Gutiérrez-Ochoa, Alejandro (1 May 2016). "Effect of Irrigation Frequency and Shade Levels on Vegetative Growth, Yield, and Fruit Quality of Piquin Pepper (Capsicum annuum L. var. glabriusculum)". HortScience. pp. 573–579. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
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