Pepper Varieties Resemble Christmas Lights

December 17, 2019

A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant geneticist has developed four ornamental pepper cultivars that are shaped in the form of old-fashioned Christmas tree lights.

The cultivars bring a holiday flair to a garden and are pleasing to connoisseurs of hot peppers.

Developed by John Stommel, research leader of the Genetic Improvement of Fruits and Vegetables Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, the new varieties follow an impressive and award-winning list of peppers he has released over the course of 30 years.

Stommel is currently at work on developing cultivars that contain less seeds as well as miniature bell peppers that will fill a niche in the snack food market.

According to the USDA, chili and bell pepper production in the United States was valued at more than $268 million in 2018.

The Beltsville laboratory is a unit of the agency’s Agricultural Research Service.

(Photo courtesy of USDA/ARS)