August 2003


Bishops Crown Pepper – Capsicum baccatum


Origin: Barbados






I can't go a whole year without promoting pepper plants. This time around the honor goes to the pepper with a multitude of names, the Bishops Crown. In fact, it may have the most names of any member in the pepper family. Joker's Hat, Monk's Hat, Chapeau de friar, Christmas Bells, Brazilian Church Bells, Orchid and Aji Flor are just the tip of the iceberg.

The Bishops Crown derives its name from the three-sided fruit it sets at the end of the summer. The bright red pepper resembles the headgear worn by Bishops. A late bloomer, the Bishops Crown is a large plant. Like most pepper plants, it's relatively easy to grow, requiring full sun, regular watering and enough fertilizer to stimulate growth. Too much fertilizer will result in a plant with all leaves and no fruit.

This pepper plant produces a good size fruit of moderate heat. If started inside, it can be grown in zone 5 or higher. It's a nice one for pot culture and produces enough peppers that you can share with your birds.