One of the most striking peppers out there is an African-American heirloom fish pepper, Capsicum annuum. Its variegated green and white leaves with green and yellow striped peppers really stand out in a vegetable garden. The color of the fruit ranges from green, orange, brown, white, and red (watch out for the heat on the red). Mildly hot in the green form, these peppers can be used in many dishes, especially fish and shellfish dishes. Two-foot tall plants have beautiful variegated foliage and produce 3" long fruits, striped and colorful.
The pepper came to America in the 1870s and was widely grown in the Philadelphia and Baltimore areas. It is a secret ingredient in fish recipes, not showing up in cookbooks, but known through oral tradition.
Easy to grow in containers as well as raised and ground gardens, this pepper needs full sun, water 2-3 times per week until established, and mature in 80 days. Because of its handsome display, the plant is valued by ornamental landscapers.
Other Names: African-American Vegetable, Oyster Chili, Chesapeake Chili, variegated vegetable