Peppers

The little pepper in the pepper – Reasons why pepper turns into pepper

Have you ever cut a pepper and found a small pepper inside the biggest one? It’s quite common, but you might ask yourself, “Why is there a little pepper in my pepper?” Read on to find out the cause of a pepper with baby pepper in it.

Why is there a little pepper in my pepper?

This small pepper inside a pepper is called internal proliferation and varies from an irregular fruit to an almost charred copy of the larger pepper. In any case, the small fruit is sterile and its cause may be genetic or may be due to the rapid flow of temperature or humidity, or even to the ethylene gas used to speed up ripening. What is known is that it appears in seed lines by natural selection and is not affected by climate, pests or other external conditions.

Does it bother you even more why you have a chilli pepper with a baby chilli in it? You’re not alone. Little new information has come to light about why a pepper turns into another pepper in the last 50 years. However, this phenomenon has been of interest for many years and was the subject of an article in the 1891 Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club.

Pepper growth phenomenon

Internal proliferation occurs among many fruits with seeds of tomatoes, eggplants, citrus and others. It seems to be more common in fruits that have been harvested unripe and then artificially ripened (ethylene gas) for the market.

During the normal development of peppers, seeds develop from structures or fertilized eggs. There are a multitude of eggs inside the pepper that become tiny seeds that we throw away before we eat the fruit. When a pepper egg has a wild hair, it develops an internal proliferation, or carpeloid formation, which looks more like the parent pepper than a seed.

Normally, a fruit is formed if the eggs have been fertilized and develop into seeds. Sometimes a process called parthenocarpy occurs in which the fruit forms in the absence of seeds. There is some evidence to suggest that there is a correlation between the pepper parasite and the pepper itself. Internal proliferation occurs more frequently in the absence of fertilization when the carpeloid structure mimics the role of the seeds, resulting in the growth of parthenocarpic pepper.

Parthenocarpy is already responsible for seedless oranges and the absence of large, unpleasant seeds in bananas. Understanding its role in the generation of parasitic peppers may lead to the development of seedless pepper varieties.

Regardless of the exact cause, commercial growers consider it an undesirable trait and tend to select new cultivars for cultivation. But the baby pepper, or parasitic twin, is perfectly edible, so it’s almost as if you get more yield from your male. I suggest you eat the baby pepper in a pepper and continue to marvel at the strange mysteries of nature.

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