I’ve been growing varieties of hot peppers for a few years. It began after a friend brought some ripe Pili-Pili from a store in Belgium for a Thai food cooking lesson. I kept the seeds and started the following spring to grow them. Since, I have brought ripe peppers from different food stores in America for seeds. The peppers dry out during the journey making the collection of the seeds safer and easier. There is a lot of chatter about chili via the internet, so it is easy to find information and seeds.
The Pili-Pili turned out to be a beautiful plant, reaching 80cm in a few cases but usually shorter. The plant was so attractive that I kept on planting year after year for the simple enjoyment of looking at it. The peppers, though prolific, were almost secondary. Yesterday I defrosted the freezer and threw out probably 300+ frozen pili-pili which had collected over the years.
The photo above shows the 4 varieties which are growing this year: Cayenne(link) (plants from Nikos Orfanos), Caribbean or Scotch Bonnet (link) (from seed), Pili- Pili (from seed), and “African Bird’s Eye or Indian(link)” from a ‘volunteer’ plant which descended from seed grown plants (Thompson & Morgan). Many chilis are so close in appearance that naming them is confusing.
Peppers are rated in units of the Scoville scale(link). The hottest in the photo are the Caribbean, Pili-Pili and the African Bird’s Eye (at 100,000-350,000 Scoville Units). The Cayenne, which though still hot at 30,000 Scoville Units, is at least 3x less hot than the others.
I have been giving fresh Cayenne away to a local guy who says he likes them and will give away some other varieties to local readers of SkopelosArts who want them. You can use them immediately or dry or freeze them.
Let me know.