Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Hot Pepper
Capsicum chinense 'Hot Paper Lantern'

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Capsicum (KAP-sih-kum) (Info)
Species: chinense (chi-NEN-see) (Info)
Cultivar: Hot Paper Lantern

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3 members have or want this plant for trade.

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Heat (Pungency):
Extremely Hot (above 30,000 Scoville Units)

Fruit Shape:

Fruit Size:
Medium (4" to 6" in length)

Fruit Color:
Green changing to red

Disease Resistance:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Type:

Fresh (salsa, salads)

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly 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
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Days to Maturity:
Late (more than 80 days)

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By WonderWeasel
Thumbnail #1 of Capsicum chinense by WonderWeasel

By WonderWeasel
Thumbnail #2 of Capsicum chinense by WonderWeasel


1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive petronius_ii On Jan 25, 2012, petronius_ii from Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:

We grew this pepper in our church garden in Albuquerque last year. The summer of 2011 brought us the most hellishly hot, and brutally LONG heat wave I've endured in my 35 years living in this city. To make things worse for our church garden, the drip irrigation system wasn't kept turned on nearly often enough to begin to cope adequately with the heat wave.

The Lipstick sweet peppers couldn't take it. I don't remember seeing a single Lipstick harvested the whole year. By the time things cooled down enough in very late August that it wasn't dropping blossoms, it was too late for it to produce mature peppers.

Meanwhile, Large Thick Cayenne managed to pull itself together enough to produce a moderately respectable harvest, while Hot Paper Lantern, which also suffered blossom drop in the very hottest part of the heat wave, started cranking out some VERY respectable quantities of little Christmas tree light bulb shaped, very hot and flavorful peppers. They were supposed to turn out bigger, but with the inadequate watering, that just wasn't going to happen. Because of the late start, most of them never really ripened either. Most stayed a very light yellow in color, or ripened just to a light orange. No good for saving seed, but I was impressed enough by the courageous performance of this pepper, I definitely want to grow her again.

The Hot Paper Lantern is a bit mild by Capsicum chinense standards, but she's still much hotter than most of the chile peppers we New Mexicans consume on a regular basis. If you cook hot pepper recipes for mixed company, i.e. some people with "gringo" tastes and some who want things hotter, this would be a great pepper to use for a little side dish of hot sauce or salsa that your chilehead friends can use to spice up the "gringo" dish.

Hot Paper Lantern has been marketed as "a habanero for the north" because she can (under optimum conditions) produce mature peppers in as little as 70 days from transplant. Optimum conditions would include starting your seedlings a bit earlier than usual, and maybe providing bottom heat while germinating, because as with all chinenses, germination and early growth is rather slow. Once she reaches a certain size, though, she'll really take off.

I presume "a habanero for the north" means she's at least as tolerant of cool weather as any other chinense. I can certainly testify that she handle hot weather as well.

Neutral Farmerdill On Dec 3, 2004, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

A 4 x 1 1/4 inch Habanero Type.


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

Wheatfield, Indiana
Kansas City, Kansas
Albuquerque, New Mexico
New York City, New York

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