Are all bell peppers the same plant? If you have wondered, keep reading, and we will try to shed some light on the subject.
In this article, we will look do all capsicums come from the same plant, are red bell peppers just ripe greens, and answer some other frequently asked questions about bell peppers.
Are All Bell Peppers the Same Plant?
The answer to whether all capsicum comes from the same plant is both yes and no. All bell peppers are from the species Capsicum annuum L. So yes, they are from the same plant. From there, things get complicated and can be confusing.
There have been hundreds of varieties and subtypes of bell peppers developed. Botanically, these are not new plants but variations or varieties of the same plant or species.
However, when you begin talking to someone that works in agriculture, they are each a different plant. In this case, the answer would be no; all bell peppers do not come from the same plant. This, to an extent, is where much of the confusion originates.
Adding to the confusion is the human habit of speaking in generalities. This article from The University of Mississippi states, “Green bell peppers appear first…”. That is true of most capsicum, but some don’t fit this general description. White Bells, as an example, are translucent white when immature and turn pale yellow when ripe. Some varieties start yellow, orange, purple, even brown and never change color.
So, to answer the original question, “Are All Bell Peppers the Same Plant?” It depends on who is talking.
Are red bell peppers just ripe green peppers?
Yes, most of the time, red bell peppers are ripe green peppers. If there are any varieties of red bell peppers that do not start green, we are unaware of them.
That is not to say that all green peppers are immature and would have turned red if allowed to stay on the plant. There are green bell peppers that stay green even when fully matured and some that begin life green and change to yellow, orange, purple, or brown.
Do All Bell Peppers Taste the Same?
No, all peppers do not taste the same. Their taste depends on how mature they are. All capsicum is bitter when extremely young. They will then transition to tangy with a bit of sweetness and finally be sweet when fully matured.
What color bell pepper is the sweetest?
The maturity of the capsicum more than the color determines the pepper’s sweetness; as a general rule, the darker the pepper, the sweeter. Green bell peppers can be problematic to purchase as you can’t judge their sweetness by their color. This can lead to nasty surprises.
The best way to make sure you get the sweetest possible peppers is to stay with common varieties and buy the darkest reds you can find.
Which color bell pepper is the healthiest?
Just as with sweetness, the riper the capsicum, the healthier it will be. The ripest bell peppers have stayed on the vine, packing in nutrients the longest. Most sources cite red bell peppers as the most beneficial due to having very high capsanthin, beta-carotene, and vitamin C content.
However, very little nutritional information is available on many colors of bell peppers.
Mississippi State University “What is the Difference Between Green, Red, and Yellow Bell Peppers?” http://extension.msstate.edu/blog/what-the-difference-between-green-red-and-yellow-bell-peppers
Science Learning Hub “Classification” https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/1438-classification-system#:~:text=Classification%20system%201%20Kingdom.%20When%20Linnaeus%20first%20described,Genus%20and%20species.%20…%207%20Constant%20evolution.%20
Healthline “Bell Peppers101” https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/bell-peppers
State of Tennessee Foodly “Which color bell pepper is the healthiest?” https://foodly.tn/tips/5-4304/
DoveMed “Which Bell Color Is the Healthiest?” https://www.dovemed.com/healthy-living/wellness-center/which-bell-color-healthiest/
HuffPost “Green Bell Peppers Are Just Unripe Versions of Red Peppers” https://www.huffpost.com/entry/difference-between-peppers_n_56def9efe4b03a405679fe7c
Plant Support “What is the difference between red and green bell peppers?” https://plantsupports.net/what-is-the-difference-between-red-and-green-bell-peppers