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Elephant Trunk Pepper

This spicy cherry red heirloom pepper tracing to Central America was saved from the original Roughwood Seed Collection in the 1930s. It was mentioned as a novelty pepper in the 1898 catalog of Philadelphia seedsman William Henry Maule and remained popular with the New Jersey canning industry. The curving pods are 10 to 12 inches long and taper to a point or a three-lobed “nose” like an elephant’s trunk. They literally drag the ground so plants should be well staked. Since the bushes are small, about 1 ½ feet tall, they are well adapted to pot culture or even table top gardening in greenhouses. The pepper was popular with canning companies because it is fleshy, sweet, and yet pleasantly hot. This made it an excellent candidate for pickling, catsups, and bottled sauces. A late season pepper, peak production occurs in late August and early September in Zone 7a. Not recommended for Zone 5 and colder.

 

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