Chris Yong-Garcia

Country of origin: Peru
Plant: Aji Amarillo

Baccatum literally translates to ‘berry-like’, which says a lot about the physical appearance of the pods in this species. The fruits are squat with a height ranging between 1″- 2″ and a diameter of 2″- 3″. The chillies mature to bright colourful, wrinkled pods of oranges, yellows and reds.

The plant itself is lanky and grows to a total height of about 4 – 5 feet with an approximate spread of about 3 feet. The pods are erect when young and they become more pendant as they mature.

The Capsicum Pubescens species is quite different from all other domesticated species of peppers and is also the least cultivated and least widespread of them all.
They are identified by their black seeds and hairy leaves (the name component pubescens means hairy). All of the peppers in this species have a distinctive capsaicinoid content, which gives them a flavour and heat that is different from all other peppers. Some of the cultivars are even hotter than the habanero! A significant trait of this species is its ability to withstand and even thrive in temperatures that are lower than the temperatures other pepper plants can handle.

Native to Bolivia and Peru, the Capsicum pubescens species is now grown throughout Latin America but is not seen in too many countries outside of that. The plants and fruit are known as locoto in Bolivia and rocoto in Bolivia.
Cultivation of this species tends to be slightly little more complex as compared to other varieties mainly because the plants grow very tall and gangly and the fruits take an inordinately long time to ripen during which time, the plant tends to lose many of its flowers.

The plant grows best when planted in a location where it gets the full blast of the sun.