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Like a kid with a new box of
crayolas, when I go down to my hot pepper patch to the section where I
grow the long cayenne peppers, sometimes I just want to marvel at their
colors for a while. The orange variety didn't ripen until later in the
season. They do all have "cayenne" in their variety description. Yellow
Cayenne, Long Red Cayenne, Long Thin Cayenne, etc.
I'm not sure whether I would classify them as variations of the same
though. They can be borne on compact or branching plants from 16
inches to over 3 feet in height but the fruit are all about 4-5" in
length and narrow. Their flavors and heat also vary. But if your
definition for a cayenne is a long, thin, sometimes slightly curving
hot pepper, these are cayennes.
I imagine the peppers that the
Spanish and Portuguese found growing along the Cayenne River in what is
now French Guiana in South America probably do not resemble our modern
cayennes in spite of giving them the name we still use.
The first year this pepper is is slow to produce and ripen, wintered
over indoors it produces waves of new peppers that ripen to bright
yellow. They are very hot and fruity; some swear there is a hint
of citrus. A nice flavoring pepper and a nice specimen for year
round production if you have a sunny, warm place. Perennial.
Early Dwarf Cayenne
This is Long Islands dehybridization of a selection from a mass grow out of hybrid peppers. Responses from all across the country have been enthusiastic. One grower in
Oregon marveled at the very early maturity and amazing crop of little
3" cayenne type fruit. Plants grow only 8-12 inches tall and are
always the earliest red peppers in the garden. The medium hot pepper
has a fine, fruity flavor. There is still some variation here which allows for continued selection in the future.
We enjoy the beauty of the purple peppers which ripen to red and have
quite a few in our collection. Some are upright, some hang
downwards; conical fruit, round or elongate and
cayenne-like. Plant habit can be compact and dwarf or more
sprawling or upright. A few have deep purple foliage as
well. While edible, they are probably better in flower boarders
or as ornamental potted plants. We encourage crossing to achieve
a better diversity to select from.