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Capsicum baccatum

Capsicum baccatum, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Solanales

Familia: Solanaceae
Subfamilia: Solanoideae
Tribus: Capsiceae
Genus: Capsicum
Species: Capsicum baccatum
Varieties: C. b. var. baccatum – C. b. var. pendulum – C. b. var. praetermissum – C. b. var. umbilicatum

Capsicum baccatum L.

Mantissa Plantarum. Generum Editionis vi et Specierum Editionis ii. 1:47. 1767


USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Capsicum baccatum in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 09-Oct-10.
Hassler, M. 2020. Capsicum baccatum. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2020. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2020 Apr. 16. Reference page. 2020. Capsicum baccatum. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 29 March 2020.

Vernacular names
català: Pebre verd, pebrer, pebrera
Deutsch: Capsicum baccatum
English: Aji
suomi: Marjapaprika
svenska: Bärpeppar

Capsicum baccatum is a member of the genus Capsicum, and is one of the five domesticated chili pepper species. The fruit tends to be very pungent, and registers 30,000 to 50,000 on the Scoville Heat Unit scale.

Chili pepper varieties in the C. baccatum species have white or cream colored flowers, and typically have a green or gold corolla. The flowers are either insect or self-pollinated. The fruit pods of the baccatum species have been cultivated into a wide variety of shapes and sizes, unlike other capsicum species, which tend to have a characteristic shape. The pods typically hang down, unlike a Capsicum frutescens plant, and can have a citrus or fruity flavor.

The C. baccatum species, particularly the Ají amarillo chili, has its origins in ancient Peru and across the Andean region of South America.[3] It is typically associated with Peruvian cuisine, and is considered part of its condiment trinity together with red onion and cilantro. Ají amarillo literally means yellow chili; however, the yellow color appears when cooked, as the mature pods are bright orange.

Yellow ají is one of the ingredients of Peruvian cuisine and Bolivian cuisine. It is used as a condiment, especially in many dishes and sauces. In Peru the chilis are mostly used fresh, and in Bolivia dried and ground. Common dishes with ají "amarillo" are the Peruvian stew Ají de gallina ("Hen Chili"), Papa a la Huancaína and the Bolivian Fricasé Paceño, among others. In Ecuadorian cuisine, Ají amarillo, onion, and lemon juice (amongst others) are served in a separate bowl with many meals as an optional additive. In Colombian cuisine, Peruvian Cuisine, and Ecuadorian cuisine, ají (sauce) is also a common condiment.

Cultivated baccatum (C. baccatum var. pendulum) is the domesticated pepper of choice of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile.[4] The Moche culture often represented fruits and vegetables in their art, including Ají amarillo peppers.[5] South American farmers also grow C. baccatum as ornamental plants for export.[6]


Some form of the word ají has been used since approximately 4600 BCE. It was first used in the protolanguage Otomanguean. It then spread along with the Capsicum fruit from Central and South America to other pepper growing regions. Capsicum baccatum is still referred to as ají, while other peppers are referred to as pepper via the Spanish conquistadors noting of the similarity in heat sensation to Piper sp.[7]

Its Latin binomial is made up of Capsicum from the Greek kapos, and baccatum meaning berry-like.
Ají amarillo

This species of chili pepper includes the following cultivars:

Ají amarillo, also called amarillo chili and ají escabeche[6]
Bishop's crown
Lemon drop, ají limón[6] (not to be confused with ají limo, a Capsicum chinense cultivar)
Piquanté Pepper

Ceramic shaped like ají amarillo peppers. Moche Culture. Larco Museum Collection.
See also

List of Capsicum cultivars


"The Plant List".
"Capsicum baccatum". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 15 December 2017.
Rêgo, Elizanilda Ramalho do; Rêgo, Mailson Monteiro do; Cruz, Cosme Damião; Finger, Fernando Luiz; Casali, Vicente Wagner Dias (2010-11-09). "Phenotypic diversity, correlation and importance of variables for fruit quality and yield traits in Brazilian peppers (Capsicum baccatum)". Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. 58 (6): 909–918. doi:10.1007/s10722-010-9628-7. ISSN 0925-9864. S2CID 6136758.
Albrecht, Elena; Zhang, Dapeng; Mays, Anne; Saftner, Robert A.; Stommel, John R. (2012). "Genetic diversity in Capsicum baccatum is significantly influenced by its ecogeographical distribution". BMC Genetics. 13 (68): 68. doi:10.1186/1471-2156-13-68. PMC 3496591. PMID 22866868.
Berrin, Katherine & Larco Museum. The Spirit of Ancient Peru:Treasures from the Museo Arqueológico Rafael Larco Herrera. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1997.
Dave DeWitt and Paul W. Bosland (2009). The Complete Pepper Book: A Gardener's Guide to Choosing, Growing, Preserving, and Cooking. Timber Press. ISBN 978-0881929201.
Kraft, Kraig (2014). "Multiple lines of evidence for the origin of domesticated chili pepper, Capsicum annuum, in Mexico". Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 111 (17): 6165–6170. Bibcode:2014PNAS..111.6165K. doi:10.1073/pnas.1308933111. PMC 4035960. PMID 24753581.

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