7 Pot Primo Pepper – The Hottest Pepper In The World?

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Troy Primeaux has led an interesting life. From thrashing out in the 90s as part of the Deep South psychedelic rock band Santeria, to breeding one of the world’s hottest peppers, the 7 Pot Primo pepper.

Primeaux shifted to horticulture in the early 2000s, reportedly in need of a more family-appropriate lifestyle. While studying at the University of Louisiana, he carefully cross bred 2 different pepper varieties to produce the distinctive and super-spicy 7 Pot Primo.

The 7 Pot Primo is known to be a cross between the Naga Morich and the Trinidad 7-Pot pepper. As a result, the 7 Pot Primo is, of course, seriously hot.

7 Pot Primo Pepper Facts:

  • Scoville: Up to 1.5 million
  • Diameter: 1-1.5″
  • Length: 1-2″
  • Color: Red
  • Species: Capsicum chinense
  • Seeds: Primo’s Peppers
7 Pot primo pepper pod
Fresh 7 Pot Primo pepper.

There is also some controversy about the 7-Pot Primo pepper. It has a strikingly similar look and heat level to the Carolina reaper, and some speculate that may not be a coincidence.

7 Pot Primo Pepper Scoville Scale

We know that the 7 Pot Primo is a cross between 2 very spicy peppers, but even Primeaux was surprised with the result of his creation. It is certainly among the hottest peppers in the world.

Simply put Troy Primeaux has stated that the 7-Pot Primo pepper comes in around 1,500,000 SHUs, making it one of the hottest peppers ever officially tested. By comparison, a habanero pepper has around 250,000 SHUs, and a jalapeño has just 5,000.

The pepper is bright red and resembles a nuclear explosion’s mushroom cloud. The unusual, gnarly shape pairs well with the overwhelming heat level.

Fresh 7 Pot primos for sale
Various hot peppers, including 7 Pot Primos.

The original 7 Pot pepper got its name from the local Trinidadian legend that each pepper could spice up 7 pots of stew. All 7 Pot peppers are seriously hot, and Primeaux’s cross is the king of them all.

This leads us to an important topic. Which is hotter, the Carolina reaper or the 7 Pot Primo? Both peppers look similar, have very high heat levels, but one is much more famous.

Carolina Reaper vs. 7 Pot Primo Controversy

Internet discussions have put into question the similarities between the Carolina reaper and the 7-Pot Primo. The 2 varieties look almost identical and both have extreme heat.

In this adorable phone interview from 2015, Troy Primeaux hints that he may believe that the two varieties stem from the same pepper, though he doesn’t say anything definitive. He also states that the 7 Pot Primo holds the record for the hottest pepper tested at NMSU’s Chile Pepper Institute.

There are some test results circulating on the internet comparing the Scoville levels of the two peppers, with the Primo sometimes edging out the Reaper in real-world testing. However, I cannot personally verify that these are legitimate results.


Ed Currie, the creator of the Carolina reaper, has said that the reaper is a cross between a Pakistani Naga (ghost) pepper and a Caribbean habanero pepper called La Soufrière. The 7 Pot Primo is a cross between the Trinidad 7 Pot and Naga Morich peppers.

Troy Primeaux began developing the 7 Pot Primo cross in the early 2000s at University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Horticulture Department. He details his story of creating the pepper in this article (recommended read).

Primeaux obtained a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Agriculture and Horticulture from ULL. He worked directly with his professors while creating the pepper cross.

Primeaux has openly talked about selling seeds to the growing community during early development of the 7 Pot Primo, before the pepper cross was fully stable. This has led some to speculate whether Ed Currie was one of the early seed buyers or not.

In 2012, the Carolina reaper became the official world’s hottest pepper, and Primeaux was shocked. He posted in ‘The Hot Pepper,’ a pepper growing forum, about his concerns that the pepper was very similar in appearance to his 7 Pot Primo. His plants were in their 7th generation of development at the time.

Plant Consistency

Some fellow pepper growers have claimed that the 7 Pot Primo is a very consistent pepper plant. Consistency means that the plants produce reliable peppers in shape, size, yield and heat levels.

This Puckerbutt affiliated grower claims that the Reaper is also highly consistent, with less than 2% of plants growing inconsistently-shaped pods. He also says that he has grown 7 Pot Primos, and that they were different peppers.

Much of the crop consistency is determined by growing conditions and plant care, but when these are kept consistent, how do the plants compare?

We have grown the two side-by-side from the official seed sources, and the results were very similar. Both plants grew to roughly the same size and shape, and both produced a comparable yield of very hot pods.

7 Pot primo peppers on cutting board
Gnarly 7 Pot Primo peppers.

Reaper vs. Primo – Overall Thoughts

Owning the rights to the world’s hottest pepper likely comes with financial benefits. Though this is impossible to prove, it seems possible that Smokin’ Ed Currie got seeds for the 7 Pot Primo early on. However, we’re definitely not making any claims one way or another.

It is also perfectly plausible that Currie worked independently of Primeaux to create what turned out to be a very similar-looking pepper to the 7 Pot Primo. Smokin’ Ed certainly has a passion for growing and cross breeding peppers.

Either way, the Carolina reaper has become the more famous pepper by far. It is the pepper variety that every super spicy hot sauce maker wants to use in their hottest products. In our opinion, they’re both pretty awesome plants.

7-Pot Primo Seeds

If you would like to grow the 7 Pot Primo pepper, we recommend getting them directly from the source. This will ensure that your seeds come from isolated plants. Some seed suppliers may have open pollinated plants, meaning there is a risk of cross-pollination with other pepper varieties.

Get 7 Pot Primo pepper seeds from Primo’s Peppers here.

Other 7 Pot Primo Varieties

Since the 7 Pot Primo was introduced to the world of chiliheads in the 2000s, many variations have been discovered and isolated. These mostly include color variations on the original pod shape.

7 Pot Primo Orange – Seeds

Ripe 7 Pot Primo Orange peppers
7 Pot Primo Orange peppers on plant.

With a similar shape to the original 7 Pot Primo, the orange variant has a more vibrant orange/yellow color. The flavor is better in my opinion, with a delicious, citrusy and fruity taste. This has become one of my personal favorite superhots for flavor!

7 Pot Primo Chocolate – Seeds

Another color variation, the chocolate pods are usually more flowery in flavor. Chocolate pods are always fascinating to watch ripen in the garden. These pods look truly sinister!

Primotalii – Seeds

Primotalii pepper ripe on plant
Ripe red primotalii pepper.

Some popular chiliheads claim that the Primotalii pepper is the hottest pepper they have ever tried. It is a cross between the 7 Pot Primo and the Yellow Fatalii pepper. We grew them, and now we know they are a seriously spicy variety!

More cool pepper varieties:

I hope you enjoyed reading about the 7 Pot Primo pepper. We are fascinated by this result of Troy Primeaux’s hard work and love for peppers. We’ll continue to ask questions as time goes on, updating this post as we learn more. Stay tuned!

7 Pot Primo pepper on plant with stinger
Calvin Thumbnail


One of the original Pepper Geeks! When Calvin isn’t gardening or learning more about peppers and botany, he might be traveling new places or playing some music.

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  1. I’m new to the chilli scene, Im 51, and never even(well..hardly remember) last I put mustard(Colemans) or black pepper on my food.

    I’m binging YouTube on chilli growing etc.
    Excellent article, I can’t weigh in, but I did see on “Hot Ones” – Ed Currie presenting Pepper X. No idea if they are stable, or how many generations he has produced.

    I can say however, coming out of the Motor industry, there is espionage…so, it’s possible he managed to gaff some seeds from Troy. Probability – I don’t know. Anyway…..here comes the fun…

    I went to a bar, here in south Africa, and was dared to try a smidgen of a gnarled yellow pepper.
    11 x 500Ml Castle draughts, I used my car key to nip the tiniest bit of stinger off, and tasted(Chewed) it.

    10s later, my lips were numb ,bear in mind, I was 7 sheets to the wind.

    2 more draughts, I said to the chef, “Bring me the rest” – Popped it, chewed it, deliberately licked my lips, swirled my tongue around in my mouth.
    I think I died 4 x before I regained and faculties.

    The chef didn’t say what kind of chilli it was, just yellow, gnarly, small stinger, and the size of a “golf ball”

    I’ve taken the seeds, planted them (Wrongly!) 2 weeks a go, we are entering late Autumn, they’ve germinated, and I have 13 seedlings, I’m hoping they will last our winter, which is mild…a few days 4 deg C, to 22 C in winter. My mail is on this forum, so anybody that’s knows their stuff – as I can see you do, I’ll mail you a photo of a pod – assuming, it will make it.

  2. Very biased article. Somehow Ed might have stolen from Troy (of course you are not making any claims) but no possibility that it was other way around?

  3. Great article Calvin. I grew both Primo and Reapers in 2020. Got my seeds from Troy Primo and Ed Currie. The Reapers were hotter. The Primos were prettier and more consistent. It’s my opinion that the Reapers are just a cross of the 7 pot primos and some other pepper, maybe a Maruga. My hottest pepper ever was the Butch T Scorpion. The best tasting was the Ghostly Jalepenos. I started growing in 2005.

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