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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

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Thursday - September 11, 2008

From: Buena Park, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Pepper plants growing in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Hello, I have several hot pepper plants growing in my yard. I would like to know what the pepper is called. I dry them out and grind them up to a powder and use it in many dishes. I have asked my local nursery and they cannot identify it. I would like to send you a picture and maybe you could tell me what it is. The pepper is very hot and adds a lot of flavor to whatever I add it to, I would just like to know what it is, thank you.


Mr. Smarty Plants thinks that it could be Capsicum annuum (cayenne pepper), also known as chile pequin, chile petin and bird pepper.

If this doesn't look like your pepper, please send us photos and we will do our best to identify it.  Visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to read the instructions for submitting photos.


Capsicum annuum

Capsicum annuum

Capsicum annuum

Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum



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