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Capsicum frutescens


Capsicum frutescens

Family Name: Solanaceae
Common Name: Chilli Padi, Bird's Eye Chilli, Peri Peri, Tabasco, 辣椒, 小米辣


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Plant Shape Shrubby
Maximum Height 1 m to 1.5 m


Native Distribution South America
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a shrubby plant.
Roots The plant is supported by a short to long taproot with many spreading lateral roots and fibrous roots.
Stems The stem of mature plants are woody but moderately soft and weak. Older branches are light gray.
Flowers Greenish-white with blue or yellow anthers occur in groups of two or more at the nodes. The common features of frutescens cultivars are their greenish flowers and their steeply upwards direction pedicles; also the small and pointed fruits keep their upright position until maturity.
Fruit The berries is red when mature, tapered.
Ethnobotanical Uses Food (Fruit or Vegetable): The fruits are very popular used in all kind of dishes, soups or salad. It may be used fresh or dried, ripe or unripe, cooked or raw. (Herb or Spice)
Medicinal: It is used as a salve to relieve muscle, joint, and toothache pain, etc.
Others: The coatings and powders are used to break children of thumb sucking and nail biting. Anciently, it was even used as an instrument of torture.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Fruits
Landscape Uses General, Flowerbed / Border, Container Planting

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird-Attracting (Fruits)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Drought Tolerant, Moist Soils, Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site), Well-Drained Soils, Poor Infertile Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils, Easy to Grow
Transplanting Tolerance Moderate
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Pest(s) Nematodes
Propagation Method Seed
Seed / Spore Germination Duration 13 days to 30 days


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny, Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Truncate / Square, Auriculate
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) White, Green - Light Green
Flower Grouping Solitary

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Red, Green, Orange, Purple
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny
Mature Seed Colour(s) Cream / Off-White
Mature Seed Texture(s) Smooth
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Moderate (6-10), Several (11-20)

Image Repository



Master ID 485
Species ID 5206
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 01 December 2021.