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Ghost Pepper, ghost pepper from where did you come?  This may sound like a child’s rhyme or taunt, but there is reason to verify where and how the “New Hottest Pepper in the World” came into existence.

Remember, We are speaking of Organic, non-GMO plants for our gardens.  Hybrids that are grown by cross breeding is generally acceptable, but done in a lab?

Ghost Pepper Plants

This pepper has been around since 2007, according to the Guiness book of world records and now you are most likely wondering how was it created.

To explain that we first we need to start with some definitions:

HYBRID

Plant breeders cross breed compatible types of plants in an effort to create a plant with the best features of both parents. These are called hybrids, and many of our modern plants are the results of these crosses.

While plants can cross-pollinate in nature and hybrids repeatedly selected and grown may eventually stabilize, many hybrid seeds are relatively new crosses and seed from these hybrids will not produce plants with identical qualities. After a number of years, and stability of time and proven performance, they may eventually be called heirloom.

GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms)

Any plant, animal or microorganism, which have been genetically altered using molecular genetics techniques such as gene cloning and protein engineering. Plants like corn that has the pesticide Bt engineered into its genetic makeup to make it resistant to certain pests are GMO crops. Bt is a natural pesticide, but it would never naturally find its way into corn seed.
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The Bhut Jolokia chili pepper as it is commonly known—also known variously by other names (see etymology section below) in its native region, sometimes Naga Jolokia—is a chili pepper previously recognized by Guinness World Records as the hottest pepper in the world. The pepper is typically called the ghost chili by U.S. media.

The Bhut Jolokia is an interspecific hybrid cultivated in the Assam region of northeastern India and parts of neighboring Bangladesh. It grows in the Indian states of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur. It can also be found in rural Sri Lanka where it is known as Nai Mirris (cobra chili). DNA tests showed it to be an interspecies hybrid

In 2007, Guinness World Records certified the Bhut Jolokia as the world’s hottest chili pepper, 401.5 times hotter than Tabasco sauce.


Ghost Pepper information provided by Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhut_Jolokia_ch ili_pepper

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So what does the Ghost Pepper look like?

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Plant height

45–120 cm

Stem color

Green

Leaf color

Green

Leaf length

10.65–14.25 cm

Leaf width

5.4–7.5 cm

Pedicels per axil

2

Corolla color

Yellow green

Anther color

Pale blue

Annular constriction

Present below calyx

Fruit color at maturity

Red is the most common, with orange, yellow and chocolate as rarer varieties

Fruit shape

Sub-conical to conical

Fruit length

5.95–8.54 cm

Fruit width at shoulder

2.5–2.95 cm

Fruit weight

6.95–8.97 g

Fruit surface

Rough, uneven or smooth

Seed color

Light tan

1000 seed weight

4.1–5.2 g

Seeds per fruit

19–35

Hypocotyl color

Green

Cotyledonous leaf shape

Deltoid

Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Pepper) is used as a food and a spice as well as a remedy to summer heat, presumably by inducing perspiration in the consumer.  In northeastern India, the peppers are smeared on fences or incorporated in smoke bombs as a safety precaution to keep wild elephants at a distance.


Ghost Pepper information provided by Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhut_Jolokia_ch ili_pepper

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Is The Ghost Pepper Hot Enough To Be A Weapon?
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In 2009, scientists at India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation announced plans to use the peppers in hand grenades, as a non lethalway to flush out terrorists from their hideouts and to control rioters.

It will also be developed into pepper spray as a self defense product. R. B. Srivastava, the director of the Life Sciences Department at the New Delhi headquarters of India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (who also led a defense research laboratory in Assam), said trials are also on to produce bhut jolokia-based aerosol sprays to be used by potential victims against attackers and for the police to control and disperse mobs.

 
Ghost Pepper information provided by Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhut_Jolokia_ch ili_pepper

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David Jeters, my partner in his farm.org, received a ghost pepper(its the one on the right in the first picture) as a present for Easter.  Now its time to learn about a new plant, previously unheard of in my circle of friends and farmers and gardeners. This is a new challenge and I get to learn of that world record holding hybrid.

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