Friday, August 11, 2017

Mad Hatter: A Hybrid Pepper

by Michelle L. Dauberman

Check out this fun 2017 AAS National winner called the mad hatter pepper (Capsicum baccatum).  First you'll notice its distinctive shape and then you'll be wowed and rewarded by its taste.  The consensus being that it's altogether sweet, citrusy and floral though there will be some mild heat as you nibble near the seeds.  This sounds perfectly divine to me if and when you are ready to take a break from the palate scorchers like the Bhut jolokia (aka, the ghost pepper).

These charming peppers were bred for varied North American conditions and the yields are high.  The habit of the plant itself is on the larger side and it is a vigorous grower.  You can expect a mounding, upright habit with a height of 36 – 48” and a width of 36 – 48.”  Like most other vegetables it likes to be exposed to full sun.

You can pick the peppers when they are a mature green or you can wait a bit and let them ripen to red.  If you wait you’ll be rewarded with a sweeter and richer flavor.  Generally speaking it takes 65  70 day to reach its mature green state and 85  90 days to reach its ripe red state.

Given this peppers unique shape and sweeter disposition it would be a fun addition to a children’s vegetable garden!

For more information on peppers check out these PSU Extension links:

Container Grown Peppers

Penn State Extension – Growing Peppers

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