Capsicum pubescens, commonly known as Rocoto, is the least widespread and oldest cultivated species of all domesticated peppers; it has been grown for 5,000+ years. All pepper species are native to the Americas and are closely related to other such familiar plants as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, tobacco, and many more. This particular pepper species’ native range spans from the Michoacan highlands of Mexico into the South American Andes, however it is not present in the Central American tropics where there is not suitable climate for it to grow.
The Rocoto can often live for fifteen years often growing into a 15 ft tall woody plant. The large shrub / small tree thrives in part shade, temperate to sub-tropical climates and tolerates a fair amount of cold.
I first became acquainted with the rocoto years ago when I found it at a municipal market in Tarija, Southern Boliva.
C. pubescens is easily grown from seed, I’m not sure about cuttings or airlayers (?)
And below, a photo of an emerging bud.
I will post photos of the flower shortly with additional information on the species, and some photos of the fruit a bit later in the summer as they grow.
… And if you are already growing it, I would be interested in any thoughts/info/feedback you may have regarding the plant via the comment forum…
Ugni molinae (Myrtus ugni, Eugenia ugni) is a memeber of the Myrtaceae family, and is related to such important fruit genera/species as Guavas (Psidium spp.), Syzygium spp, Myrtle (Myrtus spp.), Jaboticaba (Myrciaria cauliflora), and Eugenia spp., to name only a few of many.
Although you may have heard it referred to as Tazziberry (Australia) and New Zealand Cranberry (New Zealand) Ugni molinae actually originates in Southern Chile and adjacent parts of Argentina where it is variously called Murtilla, Murtillo, Murta, or Uñi. The name Ugni is derived from the Native American (Mapuche) name Uñi. The plant is not very widely known outside its area of origin although in Chile and S. Argentina it is considered to be one of the most highly esteemed wild edible fruit.
The medium sized shrub will grow up to 2 meters in height and bears a small round fruit, 1.5-2 cm in diameter. The fruit flavor is described as excellent, reminiscent to wild strawberries. Leaves are used to make tea and the dried roasted seeds can be used as a coffee substitute. Once established the shrub is drought tolerant, preferring well drained soil and a temperate climate, positioned in part to full sun.
Ugni can be propagated easily from seeds and cuttings. As soon as I next see flowers and fruit on my plants I will upload photos. For now, there are plenty of photos of Ugni molinae on GoogleImages…
People and ivy (Hedera helix) can make an odd combination. Here are a few recent photos I’ve taken around neighborhoods in the Berkeley hills illustrating a few diverse examples of how people put ivy to use in the suburban landscape.
In the photo #1 have an extreme example of the ivy dominated landscape. The purpose/function of the cubic protrusion in the middle was unclear.
In photo #2 you will observe a path winding through a cluster of subtle, yet clearly intentional ivy mounds.
Photo #4: A dead, decapitated tree almost completely colonized by ivy.
Photo #5: This fire hydrant was carefully embedded in a thick blanket of ivy.
And a photo #6, which I have posted previously: a large telephone pole completely covered in ivy.