You may well have had powdered cayenne pepper in a restaurant or out of a spice jar in your kitchen, but here’s the original form in which the small fruits of this plant in the nightshade family, Capsicum annuum, grow naturally. Known in Spanish as chile pequín or chile petín, the species is native in Texas and various other places in the United States and Mexico. I found this one growing happily in the shade of Dale and Pat Bulla’s front yard in northwest Austin on February 24th. Like the Mexican olive that you saw last time, this species is making its first appearance in these pages.
© 2013 Steven Schwartzman