Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Ram's Horn
Capsicum annuum 'Waldensian'

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Capsicum (KAP-sih-kum) (Info)
Species: annuum (AN-yoo-um) (Info)
Cultivar: Waldensian
Hybridized by Unknown; Year of Registration or Introduction: Circa 1900

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36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Heat (Pungency):
Hot (5,000 to 30,000 Scoville Units)

Fruit Shape:

Fruit Size:
Large (more than 6" in length)

Fruit Color:
Green changing to red

Disease Resistance:
Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV)

Seed Type:

Fresh (salsa, salads)

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Days to Maturity:
Mid (69-80 days)

Click thumbnail
to view:

By annzup1
Thumbnail #1 of Capsicum annuum by annzup1


2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive TripleC On Dec 8, 2014, TripleC from Roswell, NM wrote:

Ram's Horn pepper plants did extremely well this spring and summer in Roswell, NM. Bountiful harvest that started with the yellow/green peppers curled up like a Ram's horn and then straightening out as they matured to a bright red color. Added them to Pickled Okra and Cucumbers slices for a "Spicy" taste. My new favorite pepper!

Positive annzup1 On Jan 27, 2012, annzup1 from Drexel, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Many people are unfamiliar with Ram's Horn Pepper. It's not to be confused with Cowhorn pepper which is generally around 2,500 to 5,000 SCU. Ram's Horn is usually 20,00050,000 SCU. It's a hot pepper, usually, or similar to cayenne. I've grown peppers within the majority of the Southern USA and Central Texas. I've only encountered Ram's Horn pepper grown in Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, and McDowell counties in North Carolina foothills. (It's not generally grown to MY knowledge in Wake, Orange, Johnston Counties or in more Eastern N.C. I have no idea why it's not, unless what local small farmers say: "It's from here. The Waldenses in Valdese first grew it.") Rural foothills and mountain regions of N.C. have, historically, maintained a position of isolation because of geographical and socio-political "conditions." One of the reasons I added this plant is that it's unusual, is easy to germinate, grows without too much attention to detail, is disease resistant, and has an amazing shape, like a larger, thicker-walled cayenne that curls, around and around, if allowed to do so: like the horn of a ram. This is one pepper, when I live in this area, I don't germinate, usually, unless I get a plant that appears to consistently yield fruit that is above the Scoville scale stated above. In short, none of the larger growers in the USA, grow this pepper as a transplant, but every LOCAL garden center around "these parts" has a 4-6 cell of transplants, grown by local growers, and are MORE than reasonably priced. I don't have any seeds now, but at the end of the summer I can save some, if interested--fruits have LOTS of seeds--or send an email, and I can direct folks to local sources. If I had to grow only one hot pepper, it would be this one. They taste like a cross between a sweet bell pepper and a mature jalapeno but are as hot or hotter, than a cayenne. The yield per plant is outrageously abundant and they're really low maintenance. I would love to hear from others who've had some experience with Ram's Horn NOT grown in the foothills of N.C. My 96 year old grandmother insists that if they're grown near bell peppers or by themselves, they aren't as hot. Seems to be a mystery pepper. I have absolutely no written information, but only that which has been passed down to me by generations of gardeners, orally, and by my own experience with RH going back to my childhood. (I've never eaten one that was "not as hot" but I'm not going to argue with a woman who's farmed, worked a "field," about as soon as she could walk.) Hope to hear from folks with info and again, inquiries are welcome!


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Roswell, New Mexico
Drexel, North Carolina
Morganton, North Carolina
Valdese, North Carolina

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