September 7, 2008

Gardening: Question of the Week

By Steve Riches

"When I was in Thailand I had the hottest chilli sauce ever, called Bird Pepper Master Blaster. Can I grow the chillies from which it's made?" asks Jamie Wilde, of Salisbury, Wilts.

- You sure can, Jamie. Bird Pepper is nothing more complicated than the Far Eastern name for Tabasco.

The chilli's Latin name is Capsicum Frutescens, which comes originally from the Amazon basin in Brazil and was popularised by the Mexican city of Tabasco.

The plant is now widely grown in Thailand and India and is easily cultivated here, too, either in a greenhouse or in a pot on a south- facing patio.

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