1.2- Species Capsicum annuum + Overview Capsicum annuum is a species of the plant genus Capsicum native to southern North America and northern South America. This species is the most common and extensively cultivated of the five domesticated capsicums. The species encompasses a wide variety of shapes and sizes of peppers, both mild and hot, ranging from bell peppers to chili peppers. Cultivars are descended from the wild American bird pepper still found in warmer regions of the Americas. In the past some woody forms of this species have been called Capsicum frutescens, but the features that were used to distinguish those forms appear in many populations of Capsicum annuum and there is no consistently recognizable Capsicum frutescens species. Synomym: Capsicum annuum var. annuum + Characteristics Although the species name annuum means “annual” (from the Latinannus “year”), the plant is not an annual and in the absence of winter frosts can survive several seasons and grow into a large perennial shrub. The single flowers are an off-white (sometimes purplish) color while the stem is densely branched and up to 60 centimetres (24 in) tall. The fruit are berries that may be green, yellow or red when ripe. While the species can tolerate most climates, Capsicum annuum is especially productive in warm and dry climates.