The genus Capsicum is part of the botanical family Solanaceae. This is a large family of considerable economic importance containing several food plants as well as numerous ornamentals. The most important genus in the Solanaceae is Solanum, a large and complex genus which includes the potato, Solanum tuberosum, the tomato, Solanum lycopersicum and the aubergine, Solanum melongena.
Other familiar plants in the Solanaceae include tobacco, Nicotiana tabacum, petunias, Petunia x atkinsiana, cape gooseberry, Physalis peruviana, chinese lantern, Physalis alkekengi and various poisonous nightshades, Solanum spp,.
The Mandrakes, Mandragora officinarum and related species are unusual in having a Mediterranean distribution, whereas the vast majoritty of Solanaceae are native to the New World, particularly the Americas.
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