Native to the Andean slopes of Peru and the neighbouring countries, these chillies have pubescent stems and leaves to protect the plants from the low night temperatures. They are generally known as 'rocotos'
Plants tend to be large and bushy, with pendant fruit. The chillies themselves can be very large, but the smaller fruited cultivars mature earlier and so are more suitable for cultivation in Northern Europe. The shape and structure of the chillies is quite consistent; round to oblong, often with a short neck, thick soft flesh, and irregular black seeds clustered on a rather soft core. Some websites report that rocoto seeds are more difficult to germinate than other types, but we have not found this to be true.
C. pubescens will not hybridise with any of the other cultivated species. The wild species C. cardenasii, C. eximium and C. tovarii are closely related.
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