Chili peppers are considered to be a part of eggplant family, Solonaceae. Their species’ name is Capsicum sp. There are many types and varieties of chili peppers but there are mainly only three that are farmed widely in Indonesia.
Large chili peppers
Scientifically known as Capsicum annuum L, these peppers are important farming commodities in Indonesia. In general, there are three types of large chili peppers:
- Large red chili peppers. They have long shape with pointed end with smooth, waxy, thick skin.
- Curly red chili peppers. They are long but small in diameter with pointed end. Their skin is wavy and a little wrinkly and on the thin side.
- Green chili peppers. Essentially, they are red chili peppers that are harvested sooner than usual, when they’re still green. Early harvest usually happens because farmers want faster harvest or in some areas with high humidity and precipitation, it’s quite hard to harvest chili peppers that are completely and seamlessly red. Green chili peppers are cheaper than and not as hot as the red ones, but they have the market for them.
This type of chili peppers is quite sensitive to the weather, pests, and diseases. You need extra experience and patience to farm this type, with big modal. A surge in the price of this type of chili peppers on the market happens sometimes.
Cabai Rawit (Capiscym frutescens)
These are small chili peppers, only about 2 – 4 cm long. This type of chili peppers is hotter than the large ones usually, barring some exceptions. Their colors vary from greens, reds, yellows, and oranges.
This type of chili peppers can fruit all year and is able to withstand all kinds of weather and grow in low or high altitude. Most cabai rawit in Indonesia is from local varieties with seeds produced by farmers from their previous harvest.
Hybrid chili peppers
Hybrid chili peppers are actually a part of the large chili peppers. However, they have endured some genetic crossing and other modern technique selections. They are more spoiled than the usual varieties. Some of them, like paprika, cannot be planted on open space.
Hybrid chili peppers have advantages in productivity, shape, and are resistant to certain diseases. Some popular varieties are:
- Red chili peppers: Hot beauty, Emerald, Horizon, Imperial, Violin, Inko hot
- Curly chili peppers: Lembang-1, Tanjung-1, Tanjung-2, Kunthi, Papyrus
- Cabai rawit: Discovery, Bara, Taruna, Dewata, Juwita
- Paprika: Heirloom, Edison, Suniya