Chili comes from Middle and South America. There are 5 different species.
- Capsicum annuum. The most common species, which also includes mild bell peppers. Hanging fruits. White flowers, stamens not purple. 1 (sometimes 2) flowers per node. Examples: "ordinary" long pointed red/green chilis, jalapeño.
- Capsicum chinense. Hanging fruits, which usually look like wrinkled mini bell peppers. Very strong (except Habanero Dulce). Flowers white, yellowish or greenish. Stamens purple. 2-5 flowers per node. Examples: Habanero, Scotch Bonnet.
- Capsicum baccatum. Fruits upright, then hanging down as they ripen. Strong. Yellow, green or brown spots on the petals. Examples: Hot Lemon (Ají Limon), Ají Mango.
- Capsicum frutescens. Fruits upright, often small, pointed. Strong and pungent taste. Examples: Etna, Tabasco, Thai.
- Capsicum pubescens. Purple petals. Flowers and fruits upright. Black seeds. Example: Rocoto.
How hot chili fruits are is measured in scoville heat units.
Chili plants live for many years, but it can be difficult to get them to survive the winter indoors. Cutting them down before the winter can give better survival.