Capsicum historical and botanical perspectives

Saikat Kumar Basu and Amit Krishna De

Chilli is known by different names in different parts of the world. The genus Capsicum, which is commonly known as "red chile", "chilli pepper", "hot red pepper", "tabasco", "paprika", "cayenne", etc., belongs to the family Solanaceae. The original distribution of this species appears to have been from the south of Mexico, extending into Columbia. The taxonomy of the genus Capsicum is confounded within certain species complexes. It is generally believed that about 20 Capsicuvi species are distributed worldwide. The five major species of Capsicum cultivated are: Capsicum annuum, Capsicum frutescens, Capsicum chinense, Capsicum pendulum and Capsicum pubescens. However, the question of exactly how many species are involved is still controversial. The authors have reorganized and reconstructed the available literature in a new and original form to give a brief introduction to the readers regarding the historical and botanical perspectives of different Capsicum species.

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