Capsicum cardenasii

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Capsicum cardenasii
Ulupica Capsicum cardenasii.jpg
C. cardensii plant with immature fruit
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Capsicum
C. cardenasii
Binomial name
Capsicum cardenasii
Heiser & P.G.Sm.

Capsicum cardenasii is a plant species in the genus Capsicum and the family Solanaceae. It is a diploid with 2n=2x=24. It is a member within the C. pubescens complex, a group of closely related Capsicum species. It is closely related to C. eximium. It is native to the Andes, and it can be found in Bolivia and Peru .[1] The native name is ulupica.[2]

Vegetative characteristics[edit]

Capsicum cardenasii, like most members of the Pubescens complex, is a perennial plant that develops woody stems. The plant can grow up 2–3 feet high with a width of 1-1.5 feet. The leaves are narrow, lanceolate and pubescent. Plants generally produce between 1 and 2 flowers at the internodes. The petioles grow erect and have campanulate, pendant flowers.[3] The corolla is white and purple colored.[2] The plant produces small, fleshy, red fruit. It is likely the wild ancestor of rocoto peppers.[4]

The plant requires a cool, freeze free environment and long growing season similar to its native environment in the Andes.[1]


After fertilization C. cardenasii develops small round red berries, sometimes referred to as chiltepins. The fruits contain a small number of seed. The fruit are pungent, near 30 000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units), making them quite spicy.[citation needed]

Capsicum cardenasii is self-incompatible, and exhibits unilateral incompatibility with species outside the pubescens clade.[5]


Its primary use is as a spice. Many wild Capsicums exhibit disease resistance of interest to plant breeders. C. cardenasii has been shown to be resistant to tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), and there is a possibility that one day this resistance may be transferred to other capsicum species through breeding.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Peppers: History and Exploitation of a Serendipitous New Crop Discovery". Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  2. ^ a b c Pickersgill, Barbara (1997-07-01). "Genetic resources and breeding of Capsicum spp". Euphytica. 96 (1): 129–133. doi:10.1023/A:1002913228101. ISSN 0014-2336.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Taxonomy - GRIN-Global Web v". Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  5. ^ Onus, A. Naci; Pickersgill, Barbara (2004-08-01). "Unilateral Incompatibility in Capsicum (Solanaceae): Occurrence and Taxonomic Distribution". Annals of Botany. 94 (2): 289–295. doi:10.1093/aob/mch139. ISSN 0305-7364. PMC 4242164. PMID 15229125.