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aturalized Herb Photo: Thingnam Sophia
Common name: Capsicum, Sweet Pepper, Chilli Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Paprika • Hindi: शिमला मिर्च Shimla mirch • Mizo: Hmarcha • Angami: Chusi
Botanical name: Capsicum annuum      Family: Solanaceae (potato family)

Capsicum is a popular species cultivated world wide. Despite being a single species, the capsicum annum has many forms, with a variety of names, even in the same language. In American English it is commonly known as the chili pepper, although not all varieties would be recognised by most speakers under this name. In British English, they are all called peppers, whereas in Australian and Indian English there is no commonly-used name encompassing all its forms, the name capsicum being commonly used for bell peppers exclusively. Its forms are varied, from large to small, sweet to sour, very hot to bland. The plant is a herbaceous annual, with a densely branched stem. The plant reaches 0.5–1.5 m (20–60 in). Single white flowers bear the fruit which is green when unripe, changing principally to red, some varieties may ripen to brown or purple. While the species can tolerate most climates, they are especially productive in warm and dry climates. Capsicum orginated from Central America where most of the main varieties were developed by local Indians. Once peppers were discovered by the Spaniards and Portuguese they were rapidly introduced worldwide and eagerly incorporated into local cuisines.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Delhi.

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