Pepper 'Fish'

Capsicum annuum

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Capsicum (KAP-sih-kum) (Info)
Species: annuum (AN-yoo-um) (Info)
Cultivar: Fish
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12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Heat (Pungency):

Hot (5,000 to 30,000 Scoville Units)

Fruit Shape:


Fruit Size:

Medium (4" to 6" in length)

Fruit Color:

Green changing to red

Green changing to gold

Green changing to orange

Disease Resistance:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Type:



Fresh (salsa, salads)




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; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Days to Maturity:

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:

White/near White


Light Green

Medium Green


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Mammoth Spring, Arkansas

Los Angeles, California

Menifee, California

San Jose, California

Denver, Colorado

Lakeland, Florida

Miami, Florida

Arabi, Georgia

Bonaire, Georgia

Waycross, Georgia

Rensselaer, Indiana

Iola, Kansas

Waltham, Massachusetts

Garden City, Michigan

Platte City, Missouri

Las Vegas, Nevada

Bayville, New Jersey

New York City, New York

Raleigh, North Carolina

Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Ottawa, Ontario

Pennsburg, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

York Haven, Pennsylvania

Knoxville, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas(2 reports)

Houston, Texas

Hutto, Texas

Liberty Hill, Texas

Tomball, Texas

American Fork, Utah

Sheboygan, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 15, 2020, BensBlooms from Fayetteville, AR (Zone 6b) wrote:

Attractive variegated foliage and hot colorful little peppers makes this variety one of my favorites for "edible landscaping" and patio "container gardening".


On Jul 24, 2018, pepperpants from Rensselaer, IN wrote:

Like these a lot. They produce lots, are easy to grow, and dry well. Depending on the plant you might end up with some solid colored pods or some pure white. Every once in a while a seed will germinate into an albino plant but I don't think these are viable. Usually let lots of seedlings get their first true leaves and picked the ones with the highest degree of variegation. The seeds seem to be true to the parent plant and there's no shortage of them

Been meaning to try getting hybrids of these with other types of pepper for a while to see if the striping will carry over but that's a long term project.


On Dec 31, 2015, GrowingNVegas from Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a) wrote:

This pepper grew great in my garden last year. This fall I dug up seven of my pepper varieties to overwinter indoors. I cut them all way back,rinsed the bare roots, and potted up. Out of all seven varieties this was the first to put on new growth and has bushed out again nicely. It is a very resilent pepper and fruits nicely.


On Jan 5, 2007, Cleo1717 from Knoxville, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Gorgeous! I'm sticking this one in my flower border next year as well. I used a few for ceviche but would love some recipes for next year. I buzzed most of them for use as chile paste but I'd love to use them to their best advantage. Lots of peppers formed and the colors of them were beautiful.


On Oct 12, 2006, ViolaAnn from Ottawa, ON (Zone 5a) wrote:

I bought it by chance at my local seed supplier. They did really well in my garden though I, early on, got them mixed up with my 4 o'clock seedlings and they were interspersed in the flower garden. The variegated foliage looked right at home. The first pepper that I picked - fairly early - had almost no heat, but as they matured they became quite hot indeed even if they were not yet red.


On Aug 28, 2005, critterologist from Frederick, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:

Very attractive plant, exceptionally tasty peppers! The flavor has a clean, bright heat like a cayenne, but with the bonus of a sweetness that reminded us of a red bell pepper. We'll be growing this one every year -- no more 'Super Chile' for us!

The variagation on the leaves is striking. I saw white variagation on my seedlings when they had just 6 leaves. The vertical stripes on the peppers are really cute, too.


On Aug 13, 2005, kanita from Los Angeles, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Another one of my favorites. I like to sun dry the pods and then powder them and mix my own spice blends. This was also one of my great-grandmother's favorites.


On Aug 11, 2005, Ripley7700 from Tomball, TX wrote:

The lore on this heirloom pepper is that it was almost exclusively grown by African Americans in New England and was used to spice up oyster, crab, and other seafood dishes - hence the name "fish" pepper. I agree that it is a very attractive plant and is well suited for "showing off" - but don't forget to eat the peppers! My experience has been that the immature peppers are quite spicy, but if you allow the peppers to mature all the way to red (bright red!), the spice mellows out. Also, early foliage may not be variegated, but later foliage will be. In fact, the most recent foliage on my plant is almost all white. If the pepper pod is produced from the variegated foliage, the pod will also be variegated (meaning that earlier pods may be mostly green - but later pods may be mostly white... read more


On Feb 10, 2005, Love2Troll from (Zone 5b) wrote:

The variegation of the leaves and fruit can differ from seed source to seed source. My seeds came from an heirloom collector in NC and the foliage didn't exhibit early stripes.

Very nice heat and I found it to make an excellent powder.


On Jan 18, 2003, dsrtgdn from Lancaster, CA wrote:

Beautiful and ornamental pepper. The fruits are quite hot and orange red with gold striping when ripe. Heirloom from The African American community of Philly/Baltimore. Pretty enough to put in the flower garden