Natives For Your Neighborhood is a labor of love and commitment. If you use this website, help us maintain and grow it with your tax-deductible donation.


Please scroll to the bottom for more images.
Bird pepper, Cayenne pepper
Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

General Landscape Uses: Kitchen gardens.

Ecological Restoration Notes: A somewhat rare and ephemeral understory component of coastal hammocks.

Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.

Description: Small short-lived shrubby herb with dark green shiny leaves.

Dimensions: Typically 2-3 feet in height. Often about as broad as tall.

Growth Rate: Fast.

Range: Southern United States south mostly along the Florida coasts to the Monroe County Keys; West Indies, Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Rare and ephemeral throughout its range in South Florida.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Coastal hammocks.

Soils: Moist, well-drained limestone or calcareous sandy soils, with humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.

Salt Water Tolerance: Moderate; tolerates brackish water or occasional inundation by salt water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.

Drought Tolerance: Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.

Light Requirements: Light shade to full sun.

Flower Color: White.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: Red berry. Edible (very hot!).

Wildlife and Ecology: Birds (especially mockingbirds) eat the green, un-ripened peppers

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.

Comments: A short-lived plant, generally living 1-2 years. It recruits readily in the garden from seed but does not become aggressive.

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Other data on Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum available from:

Resources Links:
Find Native Plants!

Acknowledgements and past sponsors
Become a sponsor!

Emergent Sponsors:

Canopy Sponsors:
Herbaceous Sponsors: