Ornamentals to Brighten the Fall Garden Palette

Oct 02, 2009 By Rosalie Marion Bliss
Ornamentals to Brighten the Fall Garden Palette
Two new ornamental peppers—Lil' Pumpkin and Pepper Jack (shown)—from ARS increase the color palette for the garden and Halloween.

(PhysOrg.com) -- With “trick-or-treaters” coming soon, imagine two spirited new pepper varieties making an appearance in your neighborhood as well. The new pepper cultivars have been released by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and are trademarked “Lil’ Pumpkin” and “Pepper Jack.”

These plants are scheduled to become available in time to add seasonal interest to next year’s fall gardens during the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays.

The peppers were bred by ARS plant geneticists John Stommel and Robert Griesbach, both at the Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) in Beltsville, Md. Stommel works in the ARS Genetic Improvement of Fruits and Laboratory, and Griesbach is a former researcher with the ARS Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit.

Lil’ Pumpkin has unique black foliage and orange pumpkin-like . Pepper Jack bears greenish-black foliage and a mix of orange and black, small, cone-shaped fruit, similar to the ever-popular Halloween candy corn.

The breeders developed Lil’ Pumpkin and Pepper Jack with both ornamental and culinary markets in mind. The peppers’ vibrant colors and unique shapes provide enticing ornamental interest, and their spicy flavor may be of culinary interest to hot-pepper lovers.

Lil’ Pumpkin and Pepper Jack join a long list of popular ornamental vegetables that includes kales, lettuces, sweet potatoes and eggplants, as well as culinary counterparts such as multicolored Swiss chard, orange watermelons, purple snap beans and purple asparagus.

The new ornamental garden vegetables can be grown as bedding plants and in containers, and they will be marketed in pots as annuals. Similar to culinary peppers, ornamental peppers perform best in high light and warm temperatures, according to the breeders.

Lil’ Pumpkin and Pepper Jack have been licensed for retail sale by McCorkle Nurseries, Inc., in Dearing, Ga. They are scheduled to become available in various garden centers and retail stores nationwide in 2010.

Provided by USDA Agricultural Research Service

Explore further: Reptile Database surpasses 10,000 reptile species

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Introducing 'Orange Bulldog'

May 13, 2008

Move over ‘Longface’, ‘Spooktacular’ and ‘Trickster’ - there’s a new face in the pumpkin patch. Welcome ‘Orange Bulldog’, a new variety of the familiar fall fruit that may soon be available ...

Does hotter mean healthier?

Feb 03, 2009

Phytophthora blight, caused by Phytophthora capsici, is a major plant disease that affects many crop species worldwide, including chile peppers in New Mexico. Farmers' observations suggested that Phytophthora capsici c ...

Recycling Food Scraps into Gardens

Sep 07, 2009

Each weekday, food scraps are collected from the Maryland Food Distribution Authority in Jessup, Md., and from small local food service and marketing establishments. Materials that do not contain metal, glass, ...

Recommended for you

Reptile Database surpasses 10,000 reptile species

13 hours ago

More than 10,000 reptile species have been recorded into the Reptile Database, a web-based catalogue of all living reptile species and classification, making the reptile species among the most diverse vertebrate ...

User comments : 0