Capsicum, Ornamental Pepper 'Black Pearl'

Capsicum annuum

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Capsicum (KAP-sih-kum) (Info)
Species: annuum (AN-yoo-um) (Info)
Cultivar: Black Pearl
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18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Heat (Pungency):

Extremely Hot (above 30,000 Scoville Units)

Fruit Shape:


Fruit Size:

Small (under 2" in length)

Fruit Color:

Purple changing to red

Disease Resistance:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Type:



Ornamental (not recommended for eating)

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Days to Maturity:

Late (more than 80 days)

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama

Vincent, Alabama

Mesa, Arizona

Queen Creek, Arizona

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Menifee, California

Van Nuys, California

New Haven, Connecticut

Somers, Connecticut

Smyrna, Delaware

Fort Pierce, Florida

Immokalee, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Miami, Florida

Palm Coast, Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida

Shalimar, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Snellville, Georgia

Western Springs, Illinois

Coralville, Iowa

Knoxville, Iowa

Derby, Kansas

Salina, Kansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

Glasgow, Kentucky

Shepherdsville, Kentucky

Halifax, Massachusetts

Wayland, Massachusetts

Hillsdale, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Rochester, Minnesota

Meridian, Mississippi

Picayune, Mississippi

Tishomingo, Mississippi

Nevada, Missouri

Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Socorro, New Mexico

Averill Park, New York

Utica, New York

Fuquay Varina, North Carolina

Wilmington, North Carolina

Akron, Ohio

Lorain, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma(3 reports)

Albion, Pennsylvania

Ridley Park, Pennsylvania

Edisto Island, South Carolina

Germantown, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Baytown, Texas

Beaumont, Texas

Bryan, Texas

Canyon Lake, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Freeport, Texas

Garland, Texas

Gilmer, Texas

Houston, Texas

Liberty Hill, Texas

Marshall, Texas

Missouri City, Texas

New Braunfels, Texas

Princeton, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Snook, Texas

Tyler, Texas

Hampton, Virginia

Keswick, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Spotsylvania, Virginia

Williamsburg, Virginia

Kennewick, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 1, 2017, Miloflamingo from Giza,
Egypt wrote:

I picked up a packet of seeds for this on a trip to the United States and tried it out here in Egypt. They are very happy in the Egyptian climate, hot summer days cool nights during most of the year, but are not so happy with the cooler weather in winter. We have used them in cooking and sauces, and they are delicious.


On Dec 9, 2014, aldous311 from Fontana, CA wrote:

Chile tepin always looks almost like a perfect circle, chile pequin is a bit elongated with a pointed tip and theres is many varieties of both of these around the world. Most chile tepin plants bought at nurseries or stores are hybrids, to suit containers and home gardens, true chile tepin grows in the wild amongst trees and bushes spread out by birds who eat the peppers, digest them poop the out, its all the work of nature only surving on rain water. The number of attempts and fails to farm it and cultuvate has been many. In Mexico most chile tepin comes from 2 places; Sonora and Chihuahua. There are different areas, changing the characteristics of the pepper. The people of these regions survive off of this peppers and have been doing it for decades. There are still manys indigenous tribe... read more


On Oct 13, 2013, ampmserv from Hillsdale, MI wrote:

I found this beautiful plant this past spring @ my local gardening center. I had deer eat the top off one of the plants, but it grew back. (yay).
I am going to try to winter it and hope it is successful.
The peppers are HOT!!


On Sep 2, 2012, Mieke Achten from Reuver,
Netherlands wrote:

Hi i Am from the Netherlands,i have every year new plants.
From my home grow, from the Seeds that i bought years ago.
It is in the summer very wet or Verry hot, i always have them inside in the porch.
In the winter is it to cold ,they doin't survive they get lice.
I have a new problem for the first time, there a holes in the leaves what can i do.?.Thanks Mieke


On Jun 26, 2012, elevatorman2 from Lorain, OH wrote:

I live in the Great Lakes region and have purchased this plant at a local greenhouse. I was not told that it was ornamental. I make huge pots of chili and thought that this pepper would be better than using a lot of habaneros. The plant is a very beautiful, blackish purple. The pepper came from a very pretty purple flower and has a slight point on the top of it. Looks like it grows with the stem on the bottom. Did not see a green pepper at first and have no idea, other than reading other reports on here, if it will turn red as stated. The pepper right now is about 2 weeks on the plant. Will try to update this post in a couple weeks.


On May 14, 2011, livinonfaith from Fuquay Varina, NC wrote:

Was given this plant ten years ago as a gift. Loved it until my then 3 yr. old bit one of the peppers. It was very, very hot! He was in so much pain that we finally called poison control to figure out how to get the pepper oil off of his mouth. (First apply a wet cloth, as hot as you can stand it, to melt the oil, then soothe with a cold milk compress. Repeat both steps until the oil is gone.)

I would recommend this exceptionally beautiful plant, but would definitely keep it away from small kids! (On the bright side, it did break my son of eating everything he could get his hands on! LOL)


On May 7, 2011, Omegatop from Hampton, VA wrote:

I've grown this plant in pots and in the ground. Was not able to keep it alive, after raising it in pots outside. The shock of moving indoors seems to kill it. A friend kept one potted inside and it lives on. The plants that died, after being moved indoors, dropped seeds that sprouted in the Spring. I ended up with over ten plants.


On May 21, 2010, RxAngel from Stratford, TX (Zone 6b) wrote:

Had this plant a couple of years ago, and it was just gorgeous. The black foliage, coupled with the tiny purple flowers, then the peppers, which start out red and turn to is a gorgeous plant, which gets quite large and bushy and fills out nicely. I had it in a planter with Cuban oregano and Cerveza and Lime oregano, and the contrasting foliage was beautiful.

I let the frost get it that year, but it stayed on my mind, and I have been looking for one ever since...I finally found another one this year, and it is planted in one of my beds, and I will over-winter it in our sunroom. I will try to collect seed and see if I can get them to germinate/grow as well.


On Jul 25, 2009, hollyhocklady from Shepherdsville, KY wrote:

Beautiful plant. I just can not eat the peppers. Way to HOT for me....


On Jul 5, 2009, WillowWasp from Jones Creek, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I grew this one last year and it was a real impressor so I will plant it again next year. I love the color's on the fruit as well as the plant itself.


On Sep 6, 2008, gardenbugde from Smyrna, DE (Zone 7a) wrote:

This has been the most fun and interesting plant! I purchased the seeds, and sowed them in early Spring, indoors in foam cups. I had 100% germination, so that took me by surprise! The leaves are beautiful!- Black matte finish on them. The peppers were delightful to watch. Most started out green, then turned to black then to the most lovely shade of red. I have them growing with Medusa peppers and bolivian rainbow peppers in a strawberry pot. They adapted well after planting and straightened themselves up to the sun. Very cool. I love the clusters of peppers. I've taken many up-close shots and hope to be able to share them with everyone here. I will be collecting seeds to share in the coming months. I would definitely find room to grow these! A word of warning: They are HOT. I got capsicum ... read more


On May 9, 2008, ssimon2000 from Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

Good producer of hot peppers, easy to maintain. I kept it in pots on the patio, but plan on growing them in the ground next season.
Very tasty peppers, good in chili!


On Apr 22, 2008, bndoolabh from Tyler, TX wrote:

I bought this on a whim at the somewhat exotic nursery in our area. Loved how they grew all season long (planted in ground). After frost had consumed the foliage, I cut it back and prayed for its return this spring. Luckily, it is coming back very nicely and I actually have a ton of babies growing in the same flower bed...probably seeded from the peppers that fell off during the growing season.


On Feb 22, 2008, GrandpaPepper from Nevada, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

I grew some in 2006. I really enjoyed the little black bushes in front of the larger pepper plants and cannas. I wintered the smallest plant indoors and it did very well in 2007. So did the dozen or so volunteer plants that came up all over the place. Though I'm not starting any on purpose, I wouldn't mind a few volunteer plants again in 2008.


On Oct 5, 2007, djk61 from Coralville, IA wrote:

Like most peppers it takes a long time before it gets going from seed( I thought at first the germination rate was going to be very low, but almost all the seeds sprouted after waiting a while longer) through the first few month of summer here in the Midwest. From August through the first killing frost though it is a great addition to your garden or flower bed. When I first saw this plant on the University of Iowa campus I thought they had placed red lights into some of the foliage, the peppers where that bright of glowing red! I have neighbors now asking about it this year in my yard. I'm going to pot up a couple and try to overwinter in the house and see how it goes.


On Nov 30, 2006, boomer from Indianapolis, IN wrote:

i stumbled on this wonderful pepper this season had a ball with it! loved to see them start out as green then go to a mottled appearance then turn a lovely shade of black then watch the pearls turn colors. cute & round no pointy top
hopefully i am able to salvage some seeds from it
i look forward to having this neat pepper in my garden again
FYI dont have to worry about kids picking the fruit and eating them as i do my pea pods. one byte and its curtains for that notion !!


On Jul 22, 2006, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Agricultural Research Service (Beltsville, Maryland) plant geneticists John Stommel, of the Plant Sciences Instituteís Vegetable Laboratory, and Robert Griesbach, of the U.S. National Arboretumís Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit worked together to breed this wonderful ornamental pepper. It was introduced in 2005. The fruit is rounded with a slightly pointed shape when ripe rather than tapered and oblong as stated in this entry's description. It has proven to be a great addition to my landscape and it has had no problems with insects nor diseases. It succumbed after temperaures fell well below freezing; however, I did collect have seeds which will supposedly come true to the plant. I shall see.


On Nov 29, 2005, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

A new pepper ( 2006 AAS winner). Black fruit turning to dark red on black purple plants. 125 day.