Here is a link to a brand new variety of super hot pepper called Purple Thunder. Its possible that I may be able to acquire some seed from the grower. This is the most beautiful pepper plant I have seen in a long time. PaulG, the grower just posted these foto's.
This is a foto of my thai hot peppers. The seed was sent to me by Danita awhile back and she got them from Baker Creek Seed. The pack says they are Capsicum Frutescen peppers. There are many versions of this pepper. I have seen big plants and small plants. The peppers can be erect like these, or pendulous. Peppers are an inch to an inch and a half and skinny and full of seed. When they ripen they first turn a very dark, almost brown red. Then they turn red. In only about 3 or 4 days they get soft. They can become mushy kind of fast, especially in my warm humid weather. And, they don't turn red all at once. My plants are covered over in area's but still blooming in others. I am going to have to start saving them in the freezer until I get enough to make a small batch of hot sauce. Flavor of these little peppers is fabulous. You can make a quick hot sauce with these peppers buy just cutting them into course chunks and then processing them in the electric food processor with white vinegar and a little sugar and salt. Don't chop them too fine. Experiment with it. If you want, let it sit for a few days, throw it in the blender before straining the mixture if you don't like having all those seeds. The flavor of these little peppers is medium hot and spicey. Its a good all rounder chili to me and one that I will plant again. Oh, I also wanted to say that you can grow this variety of pepper in a very small pot and grow it on the balcony if you want. Or, on your patio. Just remember, when you use small pots you have to water much more frequently.
Back in 2003 my kids gave me two little pepper plants for Fathers Day. They came labled "Thai Hot." I had grown Thai Hot, from Park's Seed Company back in the 1980s, and quickly recognized that these were not the same. Park's version had 1" little peppers on short little plants. These plants get about 3' tall and hold their peppers upright, in bouquets. The pods can get up to 3" long. I dubbed this one "Frank's Thai Hot," as it was purchased at Frank's Nursery, in Howell, NJ (which later went out of business). I grow them quite frequently, as they are super prolific and carefree. Even had some volunteer from seed which overwintered in the garden, and they are quick to bear. Pods are rather dry, medium hot and make excellent pepper flakes.
My thai hots don't cluster. They just seem to be evenly all over the plant. I read the reviews at Baker Creek seed. Some people have different luck with their plants. Most say they are small. My plants are big and bushy. Yours looks real ornamental. Beautiful for the patio. I can't dry mine now because of the weather conditions. Too humid and wet. I wanted to dry some as they look like they would be very nice for drying but they just rot. They don't ripen at the same time. So, I have to start a bag in the freezer and just collect them until there is enough to make a sauce. I haven't tried making sauce yet since the peppers are only now beginning to ripen. There are 4 plants and they are big and bushy. There will be plenty for hot sauce. I found out that frozen hot peppers can be used for hot sauce for a long time. No need to make a big batch. I also have tobasco peppers. Those are huge producers as well. Those are just now beginning to come in. My thai hots don't easily germinate. They take a long time. Tobasco peppers germinate much easier. The Tobasco peppers are shorter but they feel heavier. I think the tobasco peppers are juicier. I will comment later on the flavor of both these peppers later. I think both variety's are worthy of some space in your garden if you like spicey food. For me, tobasco peppers remind me of home. That, in and of itself makes them important to me.
In my opinion, everything about Tabasco is good. It' s just a great pepper.
Frank's Thai Hot is a very dry podded pepper and very easy to dehydrate. I suspect your Thai Hot is hotter. My brother who works landscaping is pretty sure that Frank's Thai Hot was an ornamental, wrongly tagged.
That's a good question. Thinking about the peppers I've seen which were considered ornamentals, I'd say that the plant needs to be somewhat compact. Frank's Thai Hot just barely fits into that category. Still, the plants don't sprawl. They're upright. The other thing I think is required for being called ornamental, is that the fruit be held in a way that it is "front and center." It shouldn't be covered by the foliage. I think that's it.
For years I thought "ornamental" meant that it wasn't meant for culinary use, but I eventually figured out that most ornamentals make fine hot peppers for cooking.
I don't know what the nursery business says about the word ornamental. Ron, I use the word to mean any plant that I grow that I do not eat, but grow it because I think its attractive in my flower bed. As far as your 5 color chinese peppers go. I think thats considered an ornamental by the nursery people. Plants don't get too big, don't produce that many peppers and the plants are very attractive. You can however eat the peppers and I bet they are hot little buggers. If I was you I would use them to make your peppa sauce recipe. Don't waste em. My thai hot peppers are big plants. I mean, big. About 4 feet tall and wide. And, they get covered over with nice peppers. Production is good. This plant is not an ornamental. Tobasco, which George, I agree with you, thats a hard pepper to beat, might be an ornamental or could be used as an ornamental. Probably not as pretty as the Chinese 5 color pepper though. When I was in Panama City last week I saw a nice flower bed in front of a bank that had peanut plants that they used as ornamentals. I had never seen that before. It was a compact variety and it looked awesome.
I wanted to mention something about my experience this season growing tiny peppers. I visited a homestead way up in the mountains and the family sold ice cream they made on the property. They had a lot of nice plants. I found a pepper plant in one of the flower beds. It looked a little sickly because it was in the dry season but the little sick plant had some little red pepper balls on it. I picked a few and put them in my pocket. I had no pepper seed at the time so I thought what the heck? I assumed that what I had was chiltepin. Chiltepin is a wild variety commonly found in Mexico and in the southern part of the USA growing wild. I dried the seed and planted them last April. I have about 4 or 5 descendants of these so called chiltepins. None look like the original plant. Some are kind of bullet shaped and tiny. Some are bigger or fatter and longer. Some are fatter and small. Just a hodgepodge of different shapes. Only one plant is producing real well. That is the plant with the short fat peppers. Now, obviously there has been some pre-marital sex going on here. This just goes to show how easy it is for peppers to cross. I did not see any other peppers around either. There are various names for the shapes of these peppers. I think they are just generic common shapes for heinz 57 peppers. None have ripened yet so I haven't tasted them but I assume they are going to be spicey. I probably won't waste my time growing them again next year either.
Hi Rick. This is a foto of a ferrel tepin style pepper that came from the plant I found in someones yard in the mountains. The mother plant has round chiltepin type tiny peppers growing on it. I have about 5 specimens growing. All the others are different. This variety is the only one so far that has peppers that are ripening. The plant was planted about 5 months ago or so. This one has erect peppers and is fairly prolific. I have 4 or 5 others that came from that same mother plant but they are not putting on many peppers. I am actually going to save seed from this wild pepper just for the heck of it. However, I have other wild peppers that are more prolific and more sturdy in stature. My favorite is called pequin. Or, in Spanish, that means little pepper. The pequin puts on hundreds and hundreds of peppers and also can be wintered over and will live for years. The flavor of the pequins is awesome. Well, I have tried using the tepins in hot sauce as well. Those are also very good tasting. I have a different type tepin growing also. They hang down as opposed to being erect like this type in the foto. Here's another twist with this. If I save seed from the pepper in the foto we have no idea what the peppers will look like next time. Peppers like this are notorious for crossing and also since this is an f1 hybrid of some kind it is not stabilized. It's a Heinz 57 ferrel or wild pepper. Very common here in Panama. Not rare at all.