"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Black Pearl Chilli

I have a different chilli plant growing in my garden.

It is a unique black-leaved chilli plant, which when young, is green, and, as it matures, it changes to glossy black (when grown in sunny conditions).  The plant is bushy, with strong branches, growing 45 cms (18") high, with a spread of 30 cms (12").
Black Pearl Chilli plant
The "Black Pearl" chilli boasts  the most dramatically deep purple leaves and fruit imaginable.

In mid-season it begins to display lilac-hued blossoms.  These blossoms form the abundance of black fruit, which turns a dark, deep shade of red.

The "Black Pearl" is a patented variety.

Last season I had a plant which died off, and one of it's seed pods spilt onto the soil of the pot it was growing in.  Last week I noticed that I had "free" chilli plants growing...
Self-seeded Black Pearl Chilli seedlings
In the colder climates the plant will die off in winter.  But here in the warmer southern hemisphere, it will shoot again from the base of the plant in spring.
Seeds pods awaiting harvest -
note the new growth at the base of the plant
I have since harvested all the seed pods off the plant above.  I have quite a few seeds - if there is anyone local who would like a few, please let me have you address - I'll happily send some off to you.  You can send your name and address to: dani at ecofootprint dot co dot za
Harvested Black Pearl Chiili seeds
The specifications, and growing requirements are as follows:

Height : 45 - 60 cms (18 - 25 ")
Plant spacing : 40 - 60 cms
Position : Full sun
Pungency : Hot, Hot, Hot ( above 30000 Scoville Units)
Fruit shape : Round
Fruit size : under 4 cms (2 ") in length
Fruit colour : Purple changing to red
(the above information came from: http:/davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/118938/index.html )

The plant makes a definite statement in your garden. The black leaves with the red fruit - absolutely stunning!

And, be warned.  Don't be an idiot like me.  Just because the fruit is dried and wrinkled, don't think the seeds won't be hot.  They are!  And the evidence of that lingers on the fingertips and (under the nails) for ages - long after you've forgotten not to rub your eyes...


Jane said...

What a fancy looking plant. That would look nice in Anyones garden.

Dani said...

Jane - It creates the most amazing contrast to other plants which are normally found in a garden.

frann said...

I like chilies and often make food only I can eat! I have never heard of this one though.

Dani said...

Frann - I like hot, but I know there is hotter. Maybe this would beat you...?

Leigh said...

What a pretty plant. I've never seen that variety before. I wonder if its available in the States.

Mr. H. said...

I probably already mentioned this once before to you but we also grow the Black Pearl pepper...and they are indeed hot. Enjoy those peppers...and your warning is too late for me as I did touch my eye the other day after dicing up a hot Thai pepper...oops.:(

MsBelinda said...

Being mexican-american I love hot stuff. I had never seen this variety before.

Dani said...

Leigh - Yes, it is available in the US :)

Mr H - No, you didn't, but I'm glad you do LOL

MsBelinda - Look out for it - you do get it in the States.

Denese said...

What a gorgeous plant!

Dani said...

Denese - The photo's don't do the plant justice - they really are stunning, especially in the height of summer!

Anonymous said...

What spectacular color. It seems worth growing for its color and beauty even if you don't like hot hot chillies. I keep a spray bottle on vinegar on the counter for cleaning. Something I do after chopping hot peppers is spray straight white vinegar on my hands and fingers and rub it in real well and let it sit for a minute. Rinse & Repeat again. (do cutting board and knives too) It seems to help get most of the hot pepper oils out of my skin. I am not saying there won't be any hot oil residue left, but it really seems to help me.

Dani said...

Emily - Chilli and me - we're good friends :)

Thanks for the chilli / hand info - I'll try it next time...