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NASR > Chiltepines (Wild Chiles)

Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum. The wild relatives of most cultivated chiles, chiltepines are native to North America and are still found growing in southern Arizona and northern Mexico. The small fruits are very hot. In the wild, they are commonly found growing under the cover of nurse plants like hackberry or mesquite. They do best when those conditions are replicated. They prefer shade in the low desert, and are frost sensitive; planting against a south facing wall can help create an ideal microclimate for the plants. They are perennials and will return in the summer, particularly with the summer monsoons, if the roots did not freeze. Wild plants, chiltepines can be challenging to grow from seed. In the wild they depend upon birds to scarify the seed as they pass through their digestive system which breaks down the seed so water can enter. Scarify the seeds yourself in order to facilitate the seed’s ability to absorb water. Keeping the seeds well-watered and warm may also be sufficient. It sometimes takes well over a month for the seeds to germinate.   Approx. 0.1g/25 seeds per packet.