Chilli pepper

A shrub growing in the Mediterranean Biome

By Eden Project

Eden Project

Chilli pepper, Mediterranean Biome (2020) by Eden ProjectEden Project

Chilli peppers originated in the Americas and Christopher Columbus was one of the first Europeans to encounter them when he was in the Caribbean. He called them peppers because of their spicy hot taste.

Chilli pepper, Mediterranean Biome (2020) by Eden ProjectEden Project

Like tomatoes, potatoes and tobacco, chillies are members of the nightshade family and come in some weird and wonderful shapes.

Chilli pepper, Mediterranean Biome (2020) by Eden ProjectEden Project

The spicy heat of chilli peppers is measured in Scoville heat units (SHU), indicating the amount of capsaicin present in the fruit. Capsaicin is a chemical compound that stimulates nerve endings in the skin, especially in the mouth and eyes. The hottest chilli at Eden – the Dorset Naga – measures 1.6 million units!

Chilli pepper, Mediterranean Biome (2020) by Eden ProjectEden Project

The flowers of the chilli pepper have linear petals and an off-centre style.

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