An old post that got lost in the ether, and now shared:

Savor Sister Linda writing today. The photo above is a view of the chiltepin plant that not very many people see! I took this photo in early fall in the Sierra Madres of Mexico, of a chiltepin plant with buds that will become the white flowers that eventually become green and then red fruit that you see in the photo below. I love seeing the plant in it’s different stages, and thought you might too. Coprolites, or human droppings, show that humans have been eating this chile (chiltepin is the closest living relative to the oldest known wild chile) for 8-9000 years!


Fresh-picked mature chiltepin peppers–Caution: do not rub eyes after picking chiltepines!

Today most chiltepin plants still grows wild (!) although there are folks who have been experimenting with growing them in fields. I have seen, walked through, and tasted these field grown chiltepin. I understand the spirit in which they are planted. The fields of chiletpin that I have seen over the past few years require a lot of water, fertilizer, insecticides, sometimes fungicides etc,  — and most of the locals consider the field grown chiles’ to not taste as “hot” as the wild growing ones.

Personally, I admire the adaptive strategy of a wild plant that has not only survived, but thrived for at least 8000 years, and that still grows heartily and gracefully today; without needing mankind thank you very much.  It has a powerful adaptive strategy that has carried it through the ages.

chiltepine in full picante fruit at TCP

At summer’s end your garden will be punctuated with bright Chiltepin peppers! You–and your wild birds–will prosper with picante delights full of vitamin C and A. In addition, you can use them in a topical salve to soothe the anguish of shingles or muscle-sore. (MABurgess photo)

6 thoughts on “Chiltepin

    • Jim, I just got a post from Native Seeds SEARCH that they had a decent growout of chiltepin seed this year. I just googled Chiltepine and there seems to be a couple places that sell seed and a few that even ship plants. They don’t like supercold weather so you’d have to bring it in during the Virginia winter. — Carolyn


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  4. The best elderberries are those that are grown wild too. I am told that the wild blackberries are better than those from the garden. I will still grow them in the garden just because I hate picking berried from the brambles.


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