Spooky New Peppers

Halloween can come early to your garden this year. The Agricultural Research Service of the USDA has developed two new hot pepper cultivars that will add an eerie note to your vegetable or ornamental garden this summer and fall.

'Lil' Pumpkin' is a patented variety with bright orange fruits that look like miniature pumpkins and make a striking contrast to the dusky black foliage. Patent-pending 'Pepperjack' sports an eye-catching mix of small orange and black, cone-shaped fruits arrayed against greenish-black leaves. These ornamental beauties have a spicy bite and can be used in the kitchen as well providing a long season of color in your food or flower garden.

Like other peppers, these exciting new ornamental varieties need at least 6 hours of full sun and warm temperatures to thrive. They perform well under many environmental conditions and are an excellent choice for container gardening.

'Lil' Pumpkin' and 'Pepper Jack' will be available as potted plants this season from greenhouses and garden centers nationally. The research that developed these new peppers was done at the Genetic Improvement of Fruits and Vegetables Lab (#301) at the ARS.

For more information on these peppers, go to: Agricultural Research Service.

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