Crossing pepper species and cultivars

 

My first crosses (2007 season)

 

After having read about the so-called “Dutch-Habanero” (a cross between a standard c. annum hot chile pepper and a c. chinense, the habanero) in many chile sites, I slowly gathered interest in trying to make my own new cultivars of peppers.

 

Using the quite detailed description on the Finnish website Fatalii I tried to create hybrids between species during the 2007 season. This is a detailed description of my first attempt with this most interesting hobby…

 

Link to Fatalii’s Breeding Guide with pictures… : Fatalii's Breeding Guide, Finland

Link to my own “how-to-breeding-guide” with pictures… :

 

 

How to make a cross

 

First you have to be aware that not all species within the capsicum species cross equally willingly. For instance the capsicum pubescens species does not cross with the typical cultivars of peppers, i.e. c. annuum, c. baccatum, c. chinense and c. frutescens. Making a cross between two cultivars within the same species, for example two c. annums will result in very viable seeds, which means that all seeds collected will have potential for germinating and producing healthy plants. Crossing a c. annuum with a a. chinense, though, will result in only partially fertile/viable seeds, which means that only few, if any, of the seeds taken from the cros-pollinated mature pod will germinate and result in a plant.

 

 

Here is a brief view of the crossability within the capsicum species…

 

Annuum female: annuum, baccatum, frutescens and partially chinense.

Baccatum female: annuum, baccatum, chinense, frutescens.

Chinense female: baccatum, chinense and partially annuum, frutescens.

Frutescens female: baccatum, frutescens and partially annuum, chinense.

 

 

And a complete, schematic view…

 

 

Flower

Male Parent

Female Parent

bacca-
tum

praeter-
missum

frutes-
cens

chinense

annuum

galapa-
goense

chaco-
ense

tovarii

pubes-
cens

eximium

carde-
nasii

White

baccatum

HF

PF

NG

NG

NG

—

NG

—

—

—

—

praeter-
missum

PF

HF

—

IV

IV

—

—

—

—

PF

—

frutes-
cens

NG

—

HF

PF

NG

—

—

—

—

—

—

chinense

NG

NG

PF

HF

PF

—

NG

—

—

—

—

annuum

NG

IV

PF

PF

HF

IV

IV

—

—

—

—

galapa-
goense

NG

—

—

IV

NG

HF

EC

—

—

—

—

chaco-
ense

IV

IV

—

NG

NG

—

HF

—

—

—

—

Purple

tovarii

NG

—

IV

EC

—

—

IV

HF

—

NG

—

pubes-
cens

IV

IV

EC

IV

—

—

IV

—

HF

HF

NG

eximium

NG

PF

NG

IV

IV

—

IV

NG

HF

HF

HF

carde-
nasii

NG

IV

NG

—

IV

—

IV

—

HF

HF

HF


NG = F1 hybrids germinate normally
EC = F1 hybrids raised by embryo culture
IV = fruits/seeds set, but F1 seeds inviable
PF = F1 hybrids partially fertile
HF = F1 hybrids highly fertile
— = no data, or perhaps "does not cross" (original publication does not specify)

(Reproduced from Figure 3, Genetic Resources of Capsicum, International Board for Plant Genetic Resources, 1983 [Crop Genetic Resources Centre, Plant Production and Protection Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations])