Showdown – Ghost, Scorpion and Reaper Peppers

Time for a pepper showdown!  It’s a comparison of Bhut Jolokia (Ghost), Trinidad Scorpion, Carolina Reaper and Jay’s Peach Ghost Scorpion — the hottest peppers in the world.  Come and join me?

Bhut Jolokia (Ghost) Pepper

I already have a post from some time ago, where I grew a Bhut Jolokia pepper plant.  It was several years ago, and I’ve not re-grown it since.  It was rather nice — it grew about 2 feet tall, and was quite bushy.  The peppers were a pretty red, and resembled a cross between a habanero and a Fatali pepper.  The heat was just over 1,000,000 Scoville.  (For reference, the hottest habanero is less than half that, and a jalapeno comes in at about 5,000 Scoville.)

Trinidad Scorpion Pepper

Bhut Jolokia held the title of hottest pepper for a few years, but then the Trinidad Scorpion took the crown in 2012 with approximately 1,200,000 Scoville.  This will be the first time I’ve grown the Scorpion pepper, so I am interested to see what I get, for both plant and fruit.

Jay’s Peach Ghost Scorpion Pepper

This is supposed to be a stable cross between the ghost and the scorpion peppers.  The pepper is supposed to be larger than either of its parents,  The color is different — a more pastel, rather than the brightness of the Jolokia and Scorpion peppers.  From the photos I’ve seen, it’s really pretty.  The heat is supposed to be somewhere between the two – or so I understand.

Carolina Reaper Pepper

Poor Scorpion — it only held the title of “World’s Hottest Pepper” for one year, because in 2013 he Carolina Reaper pepper took that honor.  I tried growing it once, but ran into a bit of a problem and the plant (sadly) didn’t survive.  Time I tried again, I think, because the fruit looks quite interesting.  It racks up something like 1,400,000 Scoville.

How This Will Work

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, this experiment will take awhile.  When it comes to these peppers, the seeds take a long time to sprout — somewhere between 3 and 5 weeks, if I recall correctly when I grew (or tried to grow) Bhut Jolokia and Carolina Reaper.  I have no reason to doubt that Jay’s and the Scorpion won’t take just as long to germinate.

The showdown will really start once the seedlings are large enough to go out into the garden.  I will be comparing:

  • Plant height — is it a tall plant or short?
  • Plant width — dues it grow up or out?
  • Plant vigor — how well does it take to outdoor life?  Also, is it a prima donna or is it easy to grow?
  • Time to fruit — how long does it take the first fruits to set?
  • The peppers themselves — what they look like, how big are they — things like that.

The one thing I will not be comparing is the heat!  I am not brave or stupid enough to actually try to eat one of these peppers — habaneros are as hot as I feel comfortable going.

What to Do With the Fruit?

I might try drying some and grinding them to a powder — I’d only need a minuscule amount to heat up a pot of chili or a large bowl of salsa.  I probably will go ahead and save some seeds from each of them, though.  Before I do, I’ll put some insect netting around the flowers I want to use for the seeds, so I don’t get cross-pollination.

Hmmm, now that I think of it, I may try doing a deliberate cross-pollination fo one flower bunch, just to see what I get.  It would be interesting!

 Stay Tuned!

I will be posting throughout the year, with photos — I may try some videos as well, once the plants are large enough.  In my little corner of the world (S. Florida), the plants will have a very long growing season — they should be fine up through the first frost.  And of the winter of 2016-2017 was anything like 2015-2016, I may be growing these peppers for quite some time!

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