Chinese Five Color: Funky Colored fruit, Ornamental Foliage.
If you’re looking for a pepper that’s as visually stunning as it is flavorful, look no further than the Chinese Five Color. This heirloom hot pepper is a true masterpiece, originating from China and belonging to the C. annuum species. Unlike your typical Jalapeño or Cayenne, this pepper brings a kaleidoscope of colors to your garden and your plate. Even Mrs. Ohio Peppers can’t get enough of this variety, claiming it is the best hot pepper plant. She has several plants thriving in her science classroom!
A Garden Showstopper
When it comes to aesthetics, the Chinese Five Color hot pepper is in a league of its own. The peppers start as a deep purple and transition through a spectrum of colors including cream, yellow, orange, and finally red. This ever-changing display makes each plant a living piece of art, continually evolving as the peppers mature. It’s like having your own Aurora Pepper or Bolivian Rainbow, but with its own unique twist. The plants are upright, branched with rigid, delicate stems, and dark green leaves with lovely purple stems and veins. They’re hardy to USDA zones 5-12 and are perfectly suited for container growing.
Don’t let its ornamental qualities fool you; the Chinese Color pepper plant packs a punch with a Scoville Heat Unit of 30,000. It shares the same heat profile as the popular spice-rack staple, Cayenne Pepper. But unlike many ornamental peppers that focus solely on looks, this one delivers in the taste department. It has a unique sweetness that sets it apart from other ornamentals like the Black Pearl or NuMex Twilight. It’s not just about the heat; this pepper brings a complex flavor profile that can elevate your culinary creations.
Use in the Kitchen
When it comes to cooking, the Chinese Five Color is as versatile as it gets. Its varied hues make it an excellent choice for pickling, and its sweeter flavor profile means it’s tasty fresh. Imagine a colorful salsa that not only looks good but also packs a flavorful punch. Color, when used fresh, will be dictated by the stage when it is picked. It’s also a good base for hot sauces, giving them a unique twist compared to the more common Ghost Pepper or Habanero-based sauces. And if you’re into drying peppers, these can be dried and ground into a unique, sweet, and spicy powder1.
So, if you’re looking to add something extraordinary to your garden and kitchen, Chinese Five Color seeds are the way to go. This pepper is not just about the heat or the looks; it’s a well-rounded variety that offers so much more.
30,000 SHU. This is an estimate. Scoville ratings will change based on growing conditions.