Learn About Chinese Five Color Peppers Wiki

Chinese Five Color Pepper Seeds Facts:

The first chinese five color peppers were discovered in China in the year 2000. They are known as “five” because they have a light green skin with red stripes along their length and a dark green stem. There are four varieties of these peppers: Red, Orange, Yellow and White.

There are three different types of chinese five color peppers. These include: Red, Orange, and Yellow. Each type has its own unique taste and texture. The most common variety of chinese five color peppers is the red variety which is usually used in stir fry dishes or salads. Other popular varieties include orange and yellow varieties which are often eaten raw or cooked into sauces like chili sauce or sweet & sour sauce.

Finally there is white chinese five color peppers which are not commonly grown commercially but are still available from small growers.

Chinense annuum (Red)

Scientific Name: Capsicum chinense var. annuum L.

Family: Solanaceae (Capsicum family). Commonly called red chinese pepper, it was named after the country where it originated, China.

Red chinese pepper is the most common type of chinese pepper. It has a reputation for being very hot, but this is not always the case. The heat of a chinese pepper is determined primarily by where it is grown, what it is fertilized with and how old it is when harvested. These factors can result in a wide range of heat from quite mild to extremely hot. As a general rule, the smaller the chinese pepper, the hotter it is.

The red chinese pepper has a conical shape that tapers to a point with smooth skin. The leaves of the plant are small and thin. This variety begins as a light green color and changes to a bright red when it is ready for harvest.

This type of chinese pepper is mainly used in stir fries or cooked into dishes. It can be eaten raw but the flesh tends to be more bitter and you would loose some of the nice flavor. It can be preserved by canning or pickling. The red chile can also be dried and ground into a powder that can be used as a spice for cooking.

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Ornamental value – This chinese pepper is also grown for its ornamental value. It is attractive with its bright red color and has few to no seeds. This chile is usually dried and used in flower arrangements.


Bright red color.

Hot flavor.

Smooth skin.

Flattened conical shape.

Has a tapering point.

The leaves are small and thin.

A common ornamental plant.


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Hot, sweet, pungent, aromatic.

Used for:




Chili powder.




Ornamental value: dried and used in flower arrangements.

Harvesting: around 70 – 80 days.

Storage: dry place.

Origin: China.

Red chinese pepper is a very popular chile pepper in Sichuan province, which is in the center of China. It is used as a spice to add color and flavor to dishes. It is also pickled for use in the winter months. Since red chinese pepper is dried when pickled, it can be stored for long periods of time. Red chinese pepper can be added to other dishes as a garnish or just for decoration.

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The red chinese pepper is a very ornamental plant. It has a bright red color and no visible seeds when pickled. Most varieties of this plant are grown strictly for ornamental purposes.

The dried red chinese pepper is used to make chili powder. Dried chili powder can be sprinkled on foods for extra flavor and a little extra heat. Red chinese pepper is also used in Sichuan cooking which is known for food that is not too hot but has a ‘mouthfeel’ that is slightly tingly. This tingle is called ma in Chinese and it can only be achieved by using Sichuan peppers.

Red chinese pepper can be preserved by drying or pickling. Pickled red chinese peppers are called “jiang you xiaobo” in Chinese. They can be eaten as a snack or used as a seasoning. The brine from pickling red chinese peppers is also used as a seasoning for other foods.

The red chinese pepper can also be eaten raw in salads or other dishes. It has a sweet flavor rather than being hot and spicy.

The dried red chinese pepper pods can also be ground into a powder. This powder is called “hua you” which means flower ashes. It is a very important ingredient in Chinese five spice powder. Five spice powder is used in cooking to give food an interesting flavor.

Quick red chinese pepper facts:

Scientific name:

Capsicum chinense

Alternative names:

Learn About Chinese Five Color Peppers - Image

Chili, red pepper, hua you, jiang you, flower ashes.


Solanaceae (nightshade family)


Central China – Sichuan province.


They are small (about 1-2 inches long), thin, and very wrinkled chiles that are a dark, dull red color when mature. The red chinese pepper pod has a squarish shape with a tapering tip.


Has a sweet taste but also has a slow, lingering burn like Tennessee Red Rooster’s cayenne pepper.


A combination sweet and hot flavor.

Favorite uses:

Learn About Chinese Five Color Peppers - Picture

It is mainly used as a condiment in Sichuan cooking. They are also popularly pickled and preserved. The red chinese pepper are often ground into a powder which is an important ingredient in five-spice powder. Five-spice powder is used as a flavoring in Sichuan dishes.

Sources & references used in this article:

An interspecific (Capsicum annuum× C. chinese) F2 linkage map in pepper using RFLP and AFLP markers by BC Kang, SH Nahm, JH Huh, HS Yoo, JW Yu… – Theoretical and Applied …, 2001 – Springer

Effects of agricultural practices on color, carotenoids composition, and minerals contents of sweet peppers, cv. Almuden by AJ Pérez-López, JM López-Nicolas… – Journal of agricultural …, 2007 – ACS Publications

Chinese education after Mao: two steps forward, two steps back and begin again? by S Pepper – China Quarterly, 1980 – JSTOR

A further analysis of the relationship between yellow ripe-fruit color and the capsanthin-capsorubin synthase gene in pepper (Capsicum sp.) indicated a new … by Z Li, S Wang, XL Gui, XB Chang, ZH Gong – PloS one, 2013 – journals.plos.org

Peppers: the domesticated Capsicums by J Andrews – 1995 – books.google.com



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