The Chilli Guru™

Interspecific Hybrids

The different species of Capsicum are fairly promiscuous, and varieties which are of hybrid ancestry are not uncommon. If the cross has been made deliberately, then clearly the ancestry is unambiguous. There are, however, numerous chillies which do not fit comfortably into any particular species, and it may reasonably be assumed that they are of hybrid origin.

The term "interspecific hybrid" should not be confused with "F1 hybrid". The latter is the first generation of a particular cross, the former may have been stabilized over many generations into a true breeding open pollinated variety. Of course if an interspecific hybrid is also an F1, it will not breed true.

The advantage of interspecific hybrids is that they can combine desireable characteristics from two quite distinct Capsicum species, and as such are a valuable tool for plant breeders.


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