The Sparkler Chili Pepper was a mistake! But a pleasant mistake nonetheless. The Sparkler, a bird’s eye chili pepper, was an accidental cross in the polytunnels of the Sea Spring Seed Company. Sea Spring Seed, owned by Michael and Joy Michaud, is a leader in the chili production field. Based in the United Kingdom, the company also produces vegetable seeds and plug plants. The Michaud’s first introduced Sparkler, a capsicum annuum, in 2011. Sparkler was one of seven varieties they introduced that year and it has several appealing attributes that will pique the interest of pepper lovers.
The Sparkler is a small, bushy, edible ornamental that produces a late season crop. Since it flourishes in small pots as well as larger ones, it would be an ideal house plant for apartment dwellers. The plant itself grows compactly, never getting top heavy even though it has a very high yield potential. Given its high yield this plant has great eye appeal.
At its peak the mass of bright red peppers against the backdrop of green foliage could remind you of a fourth of July sparkler. A beautiful ornamental, the Sparkler grows without branches and with its fruits appearing upright above its foliage. The peppers start off as a pale yellow, almost pastel in color, then turn orange and finally a deep red at maturity. The fruits grow in as 3.5 centimeter elongated and pointed chilies. If you choose not to pick the hot peppers they won’t drop off, but will dry nicely on the plant.
The fruits on Sparkler are at the lower end of the Scoville Heat Unit scale coming in at 160,000 SHU. For reference the Jalapeno pepper ranks between 2,500 and 10,000 SHU. The genetic makeup of the peppers determines their heat. The heat is measured in Scoville Heat Units with the mildest peppers coming in the zero to 5,000 units range and the hottest tipping the scale at over 1 million. While still considered hot these chilies are in a range that most people who enjoy spicy foods could use them in their cooking without any repercussions.
The Sparkler is a beautiful, bushy plant that would work wonderfully as décor in your kitchen. Use the fruits judiciously to heat up recipes.
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Photo Credit: Sophia-Moseley