Bolivian Rainbow chilli is a stunning plant which can be grown for both its ornamental appeal and its pungent small chillis. The upright growing chillis are about 1 inch long, are cone-shaped and go through the colours of the rainbow from purple, yellow, orange to deep red as they mature. Despite being so ornamental, Bolivian Rainbow is an equally good variety for culinary use. The fruits have a really spicy kick, making them perfect either raw or cooked.
The Scoville scale is a measurement of the pungency (spicy heat) of chilli peppers such as the jalapeño, the bhut jolokia, and the world's current hottest pepper, the Carolina Reaper, or other spicy foods as reported in Scoville heat units (SHU), a function of capsaicin concentration. Capsaicin is one of many related chemicals, collectively called capsaicinoids. The scale is named after its creator, American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville. His method, devised in 1912, is known as the Scoville Organoleptic Test.
|When to Sow
|Sow indoors January to April.
|Where to Sow
|Sow seeds 0.5cm (1/4in) deep, in modules or trays filled with moist compost and place in a warm light position such as a south facing windowsill or where temperature is 18–21°C (65 to 70°F).
|Likes a sunny position.
|Prefers well drained soil that must be kept moist.
|What to do Next
|When the seedlings are about 15cm (6in) high, transplant to their final growing positions in a pot and keep in a warm and light position.
|Give a nitrogen feed once 2 to 3 chillies have appeared.
|Harvest in 18 to 20 weeks, from July to October.
|Bolivian Rainbow have a heat rating of up to 30,000-50,000 Scoville Units.
|Wash your hands immediately after handling chillies.
|All chillies are better grown in a pot or container because the soil can warm up quickly.
|If you have only one chilli growing and you see no others forming, pick it, this will encourage more to grow.
|Hot peppers like to be grouped with cucumbers, aubergine, tomato, okra, Swiss chard and squash.
|Chillies are rich in antioxidant plant compounds that have been linked with various health benefits. Most notable is capsaicin, which is responsible for the pungent (hot) taste of chilli peppers
|The small chillies have a spicy kick making them perfect either raw or cooked.
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