Tropical and subtropical areas are home to many plants. Some species have been cultivated for centuries and still grow wild throughout the world.
Other plants were introduced into the area only recently, but they’ve become very popular due to their unique qualities or because of some other reason. One such plant is the tropical tree scorpions (Scorpioidea). These plants are native to South America and Asia. They’re called “scorpion” because of their shape and coloration. Most species have four legs, although some have five or six. Their bodies are slender with two pairs of long spines along each side. They usually grow up to 15 inches tall, though some can reach 30 feet! The leaves of these trees are often greenish-yellow in color, sometimes with purple spots or stripes. Some species have a single pair of spines while others have several pairs. Scorpions are carnivorous and eat insects, small lizards, frogs, birds and even mammals like monkeys. They use their venomous stings to kill prey and then swallow it whole.
In the United States there are over 200 different types of scorpions found all across the country. There’s one type that lives in Florida called the Florida ghost pepper (Capsicum annuum).
It got its name from its flavor and appearance. It looks a lot like a regular pepper, but it’s much hotter. Some of them have been known to measure up to nearly 2 million SHU on the Scoville scale. The ghost pepper plant is green and ripens to red. These plants grow wild in the forests of Central and South America. The seeds are often spread by birds who eat the peppers and then excrete them elsewhere. The peppers are picked when they’re bright red. They’re dried in the sun and then later dried again after they’re harvested.
There’s another type of scorpion that grows in the forests of South and Central America called the yellow scorpion pepper (Capsicum chinense). It got its name from its color and its flavor: very hot, but with a hint of sweetness.
It is grown wild in the forests and jungles of Brazil, Suriname and Guyana. They grow on small trees or shrubs that can reach a maximum of 20 feet. The leaves are dark green in color with white spots. The flowers are white and bloom in the late afternoon or evening. In terms of appearance, these peppers resemble yellow habaneros, but they’re much hotter. The peppers are ripe when they change color to bright yellow.
The trinidad scorpion (Capsicum chinense) is a type of pepper that grows wild in the foothills of the Caribbean Mountains in Trinidad, hence the name. It is also found in other parts of South and Central America.
It’s one of the hottest pepper in the world. The plant is much like the cayenne pepper plant except that it’s smaller and the peppers are longer. The trinidad scorpion are extremely hot, but have a great fruity flavor. The heat of these peppers has been measured at around 1.4 million scoville units! People have compared the taste to that of the habanero, but many say it tastes much better and more fruity. These peppers are often dried and ground into powder form and can be found in specialty shops around the United States.
The habanero pepper is a very popular ingredient in hot sauces. It is also used to make the popular habanero liqueur, which is used to flavor many different types of dishes.
The habanero is also used to make pepper wine and vinegar.
The yellow scorpion pepper (Capsicum chinense) is one of the hottest peppers in the world, with a rating between 300,000 and 550,000 Scoville Units. It is used in the same way that other super-hot peppers are, such as in hot sauces and salsas.
The Carolina hobo (Dumarestia pallidula) is a type of snail that is often used as fishing bait. It’s a very slow-moving prey item that doesn’t put up much of a fight, hence the reason for its popularity among fisherman.
The African pancake snail (Platydesma zeylanica) is a very large predatory land snail. It hunts and feeds on smaller snails and slugs.
It can often be found at garden centers as a food item for exotic snakes and lizards. While it doesn’t have much meat, it is sometimes used as fishing bait because of its attractive shell.
Sources & references used in this article:
Plant breeding of chili peppers (Capsicum, Solanaceae)-A review. by HKM Padilha, RL Barbieri – Embrapa Clima Temperado …, 2016 – alice.cnptia.embrapa.br
Vitamin variation in Capsicum spp. provides opportunities to improve nutritional value of human diets by MB Kantar, JE Anderson, SA Lucht, K Mercer… – PLoS …, 2016 – journals.plos.org
Behavior of the hottest chili peppers in the world cultivated in Yucatan, Mexico by LS Muñoz-Ramírez, LP Peña-Yam, SA Avilés-Viñas… – …, 2018 – journals.ashs.org
Ethnomedicinal uses of plants for the treatment of snake and scorpion bite in Northern Pakistan by MA Butt, M Ahmad, A Fatima, S Sultana, M Zafar… – Journal of …, 2015 – Elsevier
Medicinal uses and health benefits of chili pepper (Capsicum spp.): a review by BK Saleh, A Omer… – MOJ Food Process Technol, 2018 – researchgate.net