Ornamental yet good to eat

are there such a thing?
If so which one(s) do you grow?

Moss Point, MS(Zone 8b)

Almost all peppers are ornamental to me with their different shapes and colors. My understanding is that all of them are edible but I've heard complaints that they lack subtle flavor. This photo is Largo Purple which looks like a really purple shrub about 30" tall. The fruits start out dark purple, then gold and finally red. My son eats them raw and dried. He says they're just hot. My neighbors help themselves to them when they make a pot of beans.

Bahamian Orange and Peru Yellow are particularly ornamental to me because they load out repeatedly and are so bright.

Thumbnail by twiggybuds

twiggy, what a beautiful plant, thanks for sharing.
Is your plant planted in the ground or in a container?
What did you feed it?

Moss Point, MS(Zone 8b)

I have it in a 3 gallon pot. Any kind of well balanced fertilizer will do. I let frost get it last year so cut it back to a nub and let it stay in my unheated greenhouse. I gave it a little water about once a month and in the spring it came back out along with babies from pods that had dropped. I potted up the babies and gave them away. Full sun is needed for max purple coloring.

I have plenty of saved seeds. If anyone would like some dmail me.

North, TX

Fish pepper: 2 ft. plants can be grown in containers, are a unique variegated leaf pepper with pods that look like little fish.

Black pearl: very attractive dark leaves and very hot peppers grow well in containers; F1 hybrid.

I will be growing both of these next year (hopefully) so have no first hand info but they are both very decorative from what info I have gathered.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

A lot of the "ornamental" varieties have very thin flesh, lots of seeds, and no discernable taste (to me) other than heat. However, there are a lot of other peppers that are very beautiful, even if they aren't marketed as "ornamental."

Fish Pepper is one of my favorites for flavor... I'd grow it ever year even if it weren't so cute! But it's also fairly compact, with those cream-splashed leaves and striped peppers. I think its heat is similar to a cayenne, and if you let it ripen to red it also has a wonderful sweetness, similar to a red bell pepper.

I also really love the looks & flavor of 'Sweet Pickles'. It holds its little conical peppers upright, like many "ornamental chiles," and it often has green, yellow, orange, and red peppers on it at the same time. The peppers are crisp and sweet, and even the seeds aren't bitter, so you can munch it right down to the stem.

Helena, MT

Like twiggybud's Largo Purple I planted a couple of Pretty-N-Purple ornamental pepper plants from a local nursery. Beautiful folage on stout little plants with fruits changing colors several times as the season goes on. Too hot to eat raw, but as you mentioned, putting a couple in your soup dishes to add some heat sounds really good to me. Also, as Ozark mentions you can add them whole, like his Maui ornamentals, to various canning recipes for additional heat. I am going to try the dried tomatoes in olive oil along with some of these whole hot ornamentals next season.

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 5a)

Bolivian Rainbow is an ornamental pepper with purple-ish leaves and dark purple, VERY hot small peppers. BR is both beautiful and delicious, if you like very hot peppers.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

BR does have a nice flavor to it. I'd choose varieties with both flavor and heat for cooking...

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Lemon Yellow is a beautiful bushy plant with abundant peppers turning from green to yellow late in the season. http://www.burpee.com/product/vegetables/pepper,+hot/hot+pepper+hot+lemon+(heirloom)+-+1+pkt.+(30+seeds).do
Hot with a fruity flavor.

North, TX

Is that the same as Lemon Drop? Another that I will be growing this coming season. I am looking forward to growing this one.


Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

It could be the same. From the pictures I've seen, they look the same. You'll love them.

Mine took a lot longer to mature, but that could've been because of our unusually cool, rainy weather last summer.

Thumbnail by dividedsky
North, TX

Great. I've already found a recipe to try, Lemon Drop Jelly:

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 5a)

I was looking for Lemon Drop pepper seeds online and I think the Pepper Gal is selling this pepper under the name Fatalli Hot Pepper. Here is a link to her website:


Could someone take a look at this pepper and give me your opinion as to whether you think it is Lemon Drop or not?

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Interesting recipe! I've never had jelly like that. Do you just put it on toast or whatever else you'd normally put jelly on?

treelover, that one looks more orange than yellow, but it could be that the color is off in the photo. Other than that, it looks like Lemon Yellow/Lemon Drop.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

It's not necessarily relevant, but I thought Burpees called that one 'Hot Lemon'... at least that's the way I've been labeling it, and I thought it was still listed that way in their catalog. I'm pretty sure it's the same as 'Lemon Drop', although I haven't grown them side by side. :-)

North, TX

My seeds are labelled "Lemon Drop hot Tomato growers" & came from a swap, if that helps.

dividedsky, I love most all hot pepper jellies and make a different kind every year, depending on what pepper I am growing. Last year was habanero. I use it for so many things, although we enjoy it on toast. Also with cream cheese & crackers, as a dipping sauce, add some mustard (or not) and serve with egg rolls, or add to your buffalo wing glaze, are a few other ways we use it here.

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Ok, like a sweet and spicy sauce. I see. I'll have to try that. Thanks.

Citra, FL(Zone 9a)

Largo Purple is pretty; all peppers are pretty to me, but especially the hot ones!


Late post but I wanted to wait and get a picture.
I have grown a lot of ornamental peppers and the "Black Pearl" is absolutely my favorite:

Better flavor (to me) than most all peppers.
Open Pollinated

Thumbnail by VORTREKER
North, TX

Oh that is very pretty and if they are hot and tasty all the better! I planted some seeds but not sure if they were old or something because they didn't even germinate. I tried a couple of times.

Fish pepper plants are coming along pretty well, about to put out their first blooms. I'm looking forward to seeing the leaves become variegated in color, they are still green?

Growing peppers has been challenging for me since I moved to zone 7!


Flavor and heat are very similar to Tobasco.
If you wish I will save some seed and send to you. That way you will know they are fresh.
I think I am in 7B also--7B or 8A.
Many will disagree but do not try to start peppers in high peat soil.

North Hills, CA

Lemon Drop , Aji Lemon are usually c.Baccatum
Limon or Aji Limon are C.Chinense.

Fatalii isn't Limon though both are C.Chinense.
Different animals.
If I remember right , Fatalii is way hotter than either of the above.
Fatalii comes in Yellow or red colored pods.

There are lots of peppers that are good looking and great to eat.
Bolivian Rainbow,Purira,Chinese Multi color,Firecracker Pequin,Flus Blue,Fluorescent Purple,New Mex Twilight,Super Chile to name a few.
Lots of the C. Frutescens are colorful along with several C.Baccatums too.

North, TX

great info, smokemaster. I know where to go for questions!

vortreker, thank you for the offer, I may take you up on that!

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Yes, Lemon Drop and Bulgarian Carrot are 2 of my favorites for bright color as well as flavor.

Not all Fish Pepper plants are equally variegated, probably a variety of factors there, but I do only save seeds each year from well variegated plants. Variegation is random splashes of cream/white on the leaves. Peppers will also be striped, pretty cute. :-)

Orange, CA(Zone 10b)

For the most color on one plant, I like Firecracker Piquin. The flowers are purple and the peppers change color from purple to yellow to orange to red as they ripen so you'll have all those colors on the same plant at the same time.

For the best red color and shape of pepper, I vote for Caribbean Red.

Saint Matthews, SC(Zone 8a)

Can anyone tell what kind of pepper I have here? Or do I seem to have more than one variety? And, are they really edible? My first plant was given to me by a lady whose yard sale I went to. Not knowing anything about peppers, and since it was all in the same pot, I assumed it was all the same. But some have dark black/purple leaves and some of the plants' leaves remain green. All of the plants have the dark purple peppers that change to a bright orange. The original plant did not overwinter, but I took all the pepper pods off of it and buried them in the dirt in the pot. Every seed must have come up this past spring - I lifted and repotted about 40 little plants (in 4" plastic pots), and still left these largest 2 or 3 plants in their original 3-gallon pot. I can't tell you what they taste like because I don't eat them. The lady who gave it to me told me they were just ornamental peppers, not edible.

Thumbnail by wingsandblooms
Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Sometimes purple-leafed peppers revert to green in the next generation, even if cross-pollination didn't occur... if you want purple, only save seeds or bury pods from the plants with strong purple coloring.

there are several similar varieties, but yours looks something like 'Bolivian Rainbow', perhaps. The peppers are edible, but some types are definitely grown more for their ornamental value than for their flavor... for me, a lot of the "ornamental" varieties are thin-walled, very seedy, and don't have any flavor beyond "hot!!"

Saint Matthews, SC(Zone 8a)

Thank you

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

I don't know, but they're pretty!

North, TX

these are my fish peppers..... no variegation or striping??

But the flavor is tasty and it has quite a bit of heat.

Thumbnail by Allwild
Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I see a little variegation on two leaves to the right of the red pepper... but I do think you got cross-pollinated seed, because the shape of the peppers isn't quite "right" (should be pretty much conical; yours look like they have a little cayenne in their shape). My apologies if your seeds came from me... Fish Pepper is one I try to isolate, but sometimes bees get busy. :-)

North, TX

It does have a cayenne flavor... I was suspicious!

The seeds came from a swap last year. And those bees do stay busy.

We like the flavor and we will be eating them. ^_^ Guess I just won't save seeds.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

If you like the flavor, by all means save seeds... just don't call them "Fish Pepper"


North, TX

Good point!!

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