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9 Bizarre Chili Pepper Varieties

Peppers are some of the most interesting plants that you can easily grow at home. We are all familiar with the bell pepper and the spicy jalapeño. But have you heard of any of these weird peppers? There are thousands of pepper varieties around the world, with the number constantly growing.

Gardeners can easily cross breed two pepper types to create something new. Check out these 9 weird pepper varieties that you can grow yourself at home!

1. Peachgum Tiger Pepper

Peach gum tiger pepper calyx
Ripe Peachgum Tiger pepper and calyx (C. chinense)

The Peachgum Tiger pepper variety is one of the most bizarre peppers that we have grown (thus far). The pods ripen from deep purple, almost black, to a peachy orange color.

Read more about the 7 Pot Bubblegum here

To top it off, the calyx of the peppers extends in a flower shape and retains the dark purple color of the unripe pods. This unstable cross likely comes from crossing the Bubblegum pepper with one of the dark foliage C. chinense varieties. Weird, super spicy, and quirky – what’s not to love?

2. Sugar Rush Stripey Pepper

Sugar Rush Stripey peppers
Sugar rush stripey (C. baccatum)

The sugar rush stripey is one of the only varieties of pepper known to ripen to a striped appearance. It changes from light green to peachy orange and finally to contrasting orange and red stripes.

Hailing from the C. baccatum species, this pepper was a variant of the sugar rush peach pepper. The flavor is similar, with lots of sweetness and medium heat. The strange world of peppers just keeps getting better!

3. Paradeisfrüchtiger Gelber

Paradeisfruchtiger Gelber pepper
Paradeisfruchtiger Gelber (C. annuum)

Translated from German, this name means “yellow tomato pepper.” And indeed, it does look more like a wrinkly heirloom tomato than a pepper! The flavor is sweet and delicious, much like a bell pepper. It also has nice thick walls and a crunchy texture.

They have no heat at all, making them a great option for the family garden. They are moderately prolific, but not super productive. Try the paradeisfrüchtiger gelber pepper as a quirky replacement for one of your sweet pepper plants.

4. Fish Pepper

Fish Pepper
Fish pepper (C. annuum)

Fish peppers are known for their incredible variegated foliage. The plant leaves are green with white stripes and spots throughout. They make a beautiful decorative plant.

But the colors don’t stop on the leaves. Fish pepper fruits themselves go through an incredible transformation as they ripen. Peppers turn from striped white and green to orange and finally to a deep red.

Fish peppers also carry an interesting history. Learn all about fish peppers in our article about them here.

5. Black Panther Pepper

Black Panther Peppers
Black panther peppers (C. chinense)

The black panther pepper was born from a cross. The original two pepper varieties were the bhut jolokia (ghost pepper) and the pimenta da neyde. The result is a fiercely spicy pepper with a strange and unique ripening pattern.

The peppers will start off almost entirely black in color, eventually ripening to a bright red or orange (depending on the type). This coloration is thanks to the genetics from the pimenta de neyde, an almost entirely black plant, foliage and peppers both. Many more amazing varieties were born from breeding with the neyde pepper!

Read more about Black Panther peppers here

6. Macedonian Rezha Pepper

Rezha Macedonia pepper
Rezha Macedonia pepper (C. annuum)

The Macedonian rezha stands out due to the intense corking on the pepper’s skin. The genetics of the rezha give the peppers their distinctive look, so the white marks are not unhealthy or inedible.

The peppers are also large, growing to 8 inches or longer. The amount of corking varies on the peppers, but they typically grow to be covered completely by the striation marks. The rezha is another odd spicy pepper that you can easily grow at home.

7. Carolina Reaper

Carolina Reaper pepper on plant
Carolina reaper pepper (C. chinense)

Through the methods of plant breeding, people have been able to produce strange hybrid varieties of existing peppers. The Carolina reaper currently holds the official record for the world’s hottest pepper.

Clocking in at a whopping 2.2 million SHUs on the Scoville scale, the reaper is mind-blowingly spicy. The pepper also looks like it comes straight from the underworld.

You better be brave to grow (or even touch) these peppers. One tiny drop of pepper juice from a reaper can cause serious pain, even on your skin. Beware!

Want to see something even more strange? Check out the purple reaper here!

8. Habanada Pepper

Habanada Pepper
Habanada pepper (C. chinense)

Taking a hard left turn from the hottest pepper, the habanada pepper was bred to have the flavor of a habanero, with no heat. These peppers come in at 0 SHUs on the Scoville scale, but they have the familiar, floral flavor of the habanero pepper.

The habanada also has a beautiful orange color with an interesting wrinkled texture. They may look like a hot pepper, but they’re no hotter than your standard green bell pepper! Grow them yourself and fool your friends into thinking you can handle eating a raw habanero!

9. Jay’s Peach Ghost Scorpion

Jay's Peach Ghost Scorpion Peppers
Jay’s peach ghost scorpion peppers (C. chinense)

Perhaps our favorite ‘ghost’ variety, the peach ghost scorpion was created by Jay Weaver. This gnarly-looking variety was an accidental cross between the bhut jolokia (ghost pepper) and a scorpion pepper.

The plants are extremely vigorous and produce lots of pods with peculiar shapes. Ideal fruits are over 3.5″ long with long, curly tails. The peach color gives a false sense of sweetness – make no mistake, these peppers are hot!

There are many, many more pepper varieties from around the world, many of which are quite strange. This list of weird peppers is only scratching the surface!

Check out the easiest peppers to grow in our article here.

If you’re interested in exploring more of the bizarre chili peppers that are out there, try one of these great seed suppliers:

See more places to buy pepper seeds online in our post here. Enjoy!

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.


Wednesday 12th of July 2023

I would take Fatalii off your list of places to buy seeds. I lost to US Customs (supposedly) two packages of seeds coming from him, and he won't replace them. Even with paying extra for tracking numbers, the tracking system over there is no good and I could never learn what happened to my seeds (if he even sent them). It's too much of a risk to recommend even if he has interesting varieties.


Thursday 13th of July 2023

Thanks for sharing that - I know he stopped shipping to the US for this exact reason. It's unfortunate, but still a good source for European buyers


Wednesday 12th of July 2023

The Peach Ghost is one of my favorite peppers. I use them in BBQ sauces, pickled alongside serranos, and added in to make a hot raspberry jam. Can't recommend this one enough.


Wednesday 15th of March 2023

Your german translation is a little off. Paradeiser is austrian german for tomato. So it's "Yellow tomato pepper".

Sue Lund

Sunday 10th of October 2021

I kept some seeds from a package of Yellow, Red, Orange and Brown Sweet Twister Peppers. So far all I have is huge peppers on heavily laden branches and no color. Are these peppers normally slow to ripen? We love your recipe for Cowboy Candy. We've eaten three jars of tripled recipes already. Next year I think we will be planting mostly peppers in our little greenhouse and processing as many of the batches of Cowboy Candy as the pepper plants will produce! thank you!