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Bird Pepper

The chili pequins are loaded with little peppers. These are tidy little bushes (below) that you get started in your yard by putting in a little plant one year, and they will take it from there. The one in the picture is a volunteer, one of half a dozen around the yard.

Chili Pequin

They like to live in and around and under other shrubs. One is almost invisibly intertwined with the Brazilian Pavonia in the center bed. The one above is tucked in at the foot of a large photinia. They die back to the ground in a cold winter, but they return in the spring, bloom early (little hardly visible white blooms) and soon load up with tiny green peppers. Nothing seems to bother them; the leaves and peppers are always flawless.

They are also known as Bird Pepper. When the peppers are ripe they look just like those little peppermint candies called Red Hots, and they are red hot! They are used in African cooking and are also good in chili.

They are indeed much loved by birds, especially mockingbirds. Two mocks are fighting over the first red peppers right now. If they can just be patient for another week or two, there will be plenty of little red peppers for both of them and all their friends and for us, too.

Chili Pequin

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