TEPIN, chiltepin or birds eye are small round red fruit to 12mm with thin fleshed pods. Their fiery heat disapates quickly and are perfect for salsas, soups, stews and flavoured vinegars, use fresh or dried.
'Tepin' is derived from a Nahuatl word meaning "flea". This variety is the most likely progenitor of the domesticated C. annuum var. annuum. Another similar-sized pepper 'Pequin' (also called 'Piquin') is often confused, the Tepin fruit is round to oval and the Pequin is oval with a point, and the leaves, stems and plant structure are very different on each plant.
The 8-12mm fruit grow by the hundreds on the spreading perennial plant which grows to 1.5m in frost free areas. Sow seed 0.5-1cm deep spaced 50-60cm apart in rows 1.0-1.5 m apart. The soil should be warm, over 18°C. Maturity at 75-90 days.
Plant in the garden: Tropical areas ..Anytime. Subtropical areas..August to March. Mild Temperate areas..August to December Cold Temperate areas..September to November
In Temperate areas it is best to plant using seedlings prepared a month to six weeks earlier. Chiles prefer alkaline soil and do best in gardens with dolomite or wood-ash added to the soil.