Are ornamental peppers edible?

West Babylon, NY(Zone 7a)

During Christmas they were selling ornamental peppers. Leaves were dark green, peppers were long and thin, in red, orange, and yellow. I grew seeds from them and they are growing great, but I have no idea if they were edible, and either sweet or spicy? My plant has no flowers or peppers yet so I'm not sure if I should tell others to grow them to eat or just for decor?

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

Usually, yes, and usually VERY spicy. If your tag says it is Capsicum annuum, C. frutescens, C. chinense, C. pubescens or C. baccatum, it's just as edible as any other hot pepper. (I think all the Capsicum sp. are edible, but don't quote me on it.) However not everything sold as an "ornamental pepper" actually is one. Solanum pseudocapsicum (Jerusalem cherry) for example, is quite poisonous and often sold.

The ones sold in garden shops are usually heavily sprayed and may contain systemic insecticides. I wouldn't eat those fruits but that wouldn't affect plants grown from seed the next year.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Aside from what is posted above, my experience is that ornamental peppers are often quite bitter even when seeded.

Westbrook, CT(Zone 6a)

For a different ornamental, try Fish peppers. Small fruit turns red and leaves are silvery variegated. They rank between 5K-30K scoville units.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I've found some peppers are listed under ornamental by some sources and edible by others. No idea why.

How big is your plant? What you describe sounds like Medusa but the plant is very small. Do you have a picture? Now you've got me wondering. Lol

West Babylon, NY(Zone 7a)

Here is a photo

Thumbnail by keithp2012
Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

LOL I meant with the pods on them. Those aren't Medusa but I can't tell what they are. Sweet pickle is a variety I've seen advertised as ornamental but edible too,

West Babylon, NY(Zone 7a)

Quote from 1lisac :
LOL I meant with the pods on them. Those aren't Medusa but I can't tell what they are. Sweet pickle is a variety I've seen advertised as ornamental but edible too,


Ill have to wait till they grow more than :)

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Sounds good. I'll be waiting.

West Babylon, NY(Zone 7a)

Mine is just starting to get color, some peppers on the plant are red and others orange.

Thumbnail by keithp2012
Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

How big is the plant? Those peppers don't look real thin. Kind of looks like Sweet Pickle. Did you try one?

West Babylon, NY(Zone 7a)

Quote from 1lisac :
How big is the plant? Those peppers don't look real thin. Kind of looks like Sweet Pickle. Did you try one?


Plant is little over a foot tall. Another plant has longer, thinner peppers. I'm afraid to try it lol I hate spicy food.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

There is a good chance the original pepper was a hybrid so the seeds may not come "true" to the parent plant. You can always cut it open and smell it, if it's hot you will know it.

West Babylon, NY(Zone 7a)

I saw in the store the exact pepper plant, it's called Medusa and from what I read its edible. However, like stated above, it might be a hybrid as the fruit differs, then again mabye it just doesn't grow true from seed and that explains fruit size difference.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I grow Medusa peppers and they are really small plants with droopy leaves with multi color fruit that grows upward. I just noticed that a few posts up I mentioned Medusa but the ones I'm growing have really thin leaves. Medusa is open pollinated not a hybrid but the fruit you got your seeds from may have crossed with another type of pepper so that would explain the difference. They are edible. You may want to look in the Plant Files to see what others say about them.

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