Chilli Varieties

“The following varieties are – as far as we know – unique to us in the UK. In the majority of the cases, we were given the original seed by other people (usually travellers) and after years of growing them out now produce seed ourselves” – Joy Michaud Sea Spring Seeds

Apricot (Capsicum chinense)

Sea Springs Seeds - Apricot - Image © Sea Spring Seeds

Apricot

Sea Spring Seeds’ version of a mild habanero, Apricot is virtually heat-free. The elongated fruit are slightly-grooved and measure about 25×60 mm. They have an appealing crunchy texture and a wonderfully fresh, aromatic fragrance. As they mature the colour changes from a delicate lime green to a stunning salmon orange. The medium-sized plants are quite tidy and disciplined, and can be grown, with some support, either in pots, growbags or the ground.
Delicious stuffed or used in salads as a fragrant addition to the dish. A real treat for cooks keen on introducing extra flavour to their food, and suitable for anyone nervous of the mouth-burning nature of chillies.

Approximate heat level: 700 SHU

Coffee Bean (Capsicum chinense)

Sea Springs Seeds - Coffee beans - Image © Sea Spring Seeds

Coffee beans

The tiny, round fruit of this variety measure 9 to10 mm in diameter and have a powerful fruity aroma. They mature from green to bright orange and eventually red, reminiscent of ripe coffee beans. The plants are short and busy and can grow unsupported in both small and large pots.

Approximate heat level: 77,000 SHU

Pumpkin (Capsicum chinense)

Sea Springs Seeds - Pumpkin - Image © Sea Spring Seeds

Pumpkin

This appropriately-named variety produces pumpkin-shaped fruit that measure 20mm in diameter. The fruit mature from dark green to orange, and have a strong habanero flavour when ripe. The plants are somewhat prostrate with spreading branches that are laden with fruit. They do well unsupported in large pots, growbags or the ground.

Approximate heat level: 73,000 SHU

Turtle Claw (Capsicum chinense)

Sea Springs Seeds - Turtle Claw - Image © Sea Spring Seeds

Turtle Claw

The twisted, knobbly fruit of this variety measure about 9.5 x 38 mm, and mature from light green to pastel yellow. The very hot fruit are a distinctive mix of habanero and lemon flavours. The plants are very productive and have a bushy growth habit that makes them ideal for growing in pots. Flavourful, productive and compact, this is one of our favourite habaneros.

Approximate heat level: 96,000 SHU

Stumpy (Capsicum annuum)

Sea Springs Seeds - Stumpy - Image © Sea Spring Seeds

Stumpy

We named this variety Stumpy because of its diminutive size. The wedge-shaped, upright fruit are about 30mm long and produced above the foliage in bunches. They are medium hot, and turn from yellow to orange and red as they mature. Because of their small stature and compact growth habit, the plants do especially well in small pots and are ideally suited for windowsill growing.

Approximate heat level: 27,000 SHU

Rooster Spur (Capsicum annuum)

Sea Springs Seeds - Rooster spur - Image © Sea Spring Seeds

Rooster spur

We have been growing Rooster Spur on and off since the early 1990s and have always been impressed by the huge number of fruit it produces: in 2010, for example, we harvested over 2000 mature fruit from a single plant. The fruit are thin and short (about 4.5x 20mm) and very hot, turning from green to red as they ripen. Rooster Spur is quite late to mature for a C. annuum, and may not reach its full potential in northern Britain. Plants have very small leaves and a bushy growth habit that needs no support. This variety is perfectly adapted to containers, growing equally well in small 13cm pots and larger 30cm ones: the plants just get bigger and bear more fruit as the pots get larger.

Approximate heat level: 170,000 SHU

All the images in this article are © Sea Spring Seeds

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Joy Michaud at Sea Springs Seeds is launching a lots of new Chilli varieties this year, she has sent us some descriptions and pictures, the following are a result of their own breeding programme.

Cheeky (Capsicum chinense)

Sea Springs Seeds - Cheeky - Image © Sea Spring Seeds

Cheeky

Our own selection from the Ghanaian land race kpakpo shito, the small, roundish fruit are about 20mm in diameter and change from lime green to orange to red as they mature. They are very hot, and their deep lobes make them look somewhat like the cheeks of a bum, hence the name. The plants are a tidy bush and can grow unsupported, making them perfectly suited for small or large pots and grow bags.

Approximate heat level: 70,000 SHU

Pettie Belle (Capsicum chinense)

Sea Springs Seeds - Pettie Belle - Image © Sea Spring Seeds

Pettie Belle

A habanero chilli selected by Sea Spring Seeds from the kpakpo shito landrace of Ghana. A high proportion of the small fruit (about 25mm in diameter) are bell-shaped, making this variety possibly the smallest bell pepper in the world. They are hot, but measuring around 37,500 SHUs they are still one of our milder habaneros. The medium tall, bushy plants can be gown in the ground or larger pots, though they will need support to stay upright. Worth growing for its novelty value alone.

Approximate heat level: 37, 500 SHU

Trinity (Capsicum chinense)

Sea Springs Seeds - Trinity - Image © Sea Spring Seeds

Trinity

The deeply grooved fruit of this variety are quite erratic in shape and size, but can be as large as as 30 x 65 mm. They turn from lime green to red as they ripen and, as with other habaneros, are distinguished by a likable fruity aroma that adds a distinctive flavour to salsas and chilli sauces. They are not, however, overly hot,and are more manageable in the kitchen than other habaneros. The medium-sized, spreading plants are absolutely laden with fruit, and need support to stay upright.

Approximate heat level: 40,000 SHU

Fairy Lights (Capsicum annuum)

Sea Springs Seeds - fairy-lights - Image © Sea Spring Seeds

Fairy Lights

A stunning example of chillies at their most colourful, Fairy Lights is a selection we made from the ornamental variety NuMex Twilight. The plants have purple-tinged leaves matched by bright purple flowers that develop into small, cone-shaped fruit measuring about 12 x 25 mm. These put on a dramatic display of colours as they turn from luminescent purple to orange then red. The fruit are not only attractive, they are also hot. The spreading, bushy plants are quite short, and will grow unsupported both in containers and in the ground.

Approximate heat level: 47,000 SHU

Sparkler (Capsicum annuum)

Sea Springs Seeds - Sparkler - Image © Sea Spring Seeds

Sparkler

A result of an accidental cross in our tunnels, these very attractive, small, compact plants produce elongated, pointed fruit that are 30 to 35mm in length. The fruit are remarkably hot and grow upright above the foliage, changing from pastel yellow to orange to red as they mature. Though somewhat late to ripen, Sparkler has the potential to yield masses of fruit, and is ideal for growing in both small and large pots. A true edible ornamental.
Approximate heat level: 160,000 SHU

All the images in this article are © Sea Spring Seeds

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Sea Spring Seeds - Dorset Naga

Sea Spring Seeds - Dorset Naga

The Dorset Naga® was developed by Michael and Joy Michaud of Sea Spring Seeds near here in West Dorset (They also run Peppers By Post, the UK’s first mail order fresh Chilli Company), it was developed from the Bangladeshi chilli the Naga Morich which they originally purchased in a Asian shop in Bournemouth.

After a few years development they created a distinctive and stable variety that has now been recognised by the CVPO (Community Plant Variety Office – http://www.cpvo.europa.eu/),  the BBC’s “Gardeners’ World” television programme recorded the  heat level for Dorset Naga during some tests in 2006 as high as 1,598,227 SHU, but it is generally accepted to rate between 661,000 SHU for green fruit and up to 1,032,310 SHU when fully mature.

The wrinkled, wedge-shaped fruit ripen from green to red, and can be harvested at either stage of maturity. They can be up to 20 to 30 mm wide at the shoulders and 40 to 50 mm long, but can be smaller when the plants are grown in pots.” to quote the description from the Sea Spring Seeds website, please note that they warn that the Dorset Naga is late maturing and can be difficult to grow for the novice.

The Dorset Naga belongs to the Capsicum Chinense species which also such other notable varieties as the Habanero, Scotch Bonnet and the Naga Jolokia.

The Dorset Naga was one of the first million Scoville chillies, and has become so popular that it is stocked by Tesco’s in the UK, the only authorised sell of the seeds is Sea Spring Seeds, who are very careful to maintain the purity of the variety.

So if you fancy growing the Dorset Naga visit www.seaspringseeds.co.uk
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The Chilli Pepper Company - Naga Viper

The Chilli Pepper Company - Naga Viper

Okay…how the hell do i introduce a video like this?? Hmmmm…I KNOW! Let me start by saying that this is by far the stupidest thing i have EVER done on video..i mean this, this hurts LOADS!

The story behind this video goes a little something like this: Gerald fowler of “The Chilli Pepper Company” grew some naga cross trinidad hybrid chilli’s, he then sent a batch off to Warwick Uni to get tested, they turned out to be the HOTTEST CHILLI IN THE WORLD at 1,349,000 SHU…I tasted a sauce made from these chilli’s at the West Dean Chilli Fiesta but had no idea at the time that these were the worlds hottest (neither did anyone else for that matter!) fast foward a couple of months and the news is revealed about the warwick uni test and what they discovered!

Now, I spoke to Ged and he sent me a few of the Naga Viper pods, asking me to do a taste test on video, so I obliged…rather stupidly. He also stipulated that the taste test be one green Naga viper, followed by a red naga viper…again like a fookin numpty I obliged….

I wish I had never done this, I suffered all day tuesday due to these chilli’s and it was’nt much fun! That said the flavour of the pod itself is amazing, it has both a fruity and savoury taste to me, similar to the Naga but not quite the same, the heat is something else entirely, hell if you don’t believe me watch the vid!!




I’ve just noticed from watching this review back, that I say “insane” a hell of alot, note to self, must STOP saying that so much!! anyway…

So there you have it, the day after this video was taken my tongue packed its bags and my arse handed in its notice, the heat affected me so badly thatIi have’nt had anything hot to eat since, for fear of repurcussion!! A huge well done to Ged for growing the current worlds hottest chilli and I hope we see some more sauces utilising this unique fruit soon!

The Terminator sauce is available over at www.chileseeds.co.uk for a paltry £7!! I mentioned this sauce a few times as its the only sauce at the moment that contains the naga viper chilli, so grab a bottle while you can and may the sauce be with you chilefanz!

P.S. Please can people comment on the youtube video as to whether they like the new or old style intro & outro, this is your chance to have your say, depending on what people think depends on whether i keep the new style or go back to the old :)
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