Once upon a time you found the sweetest pepper.
You were making your way through a pepper field where no 2 plants looked the same.
A field of F3 plants. That is 3 generations after two distinct varieties cross pollinated each other. In this case, a Scotch Bonner (a Capsicum chinense). with an unknown sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum).
Yes, these two pepper species cross. I know everyone tells you they won’t, but I keep seeing it happen in our fields. Maybe we have special pollinators.
Maybe this happens all over the place.
There are a lot of different peppers in this F3 field. And you choose some of the pretties and most interesting to look at.
And you crunch into them to see how they taste.
Of course, you crunch cautiously. This F3 field was only seeded with plants that had been heatless in the F2 year, but this is only 3 generations away from a Scotch Bonnet – spicy genes might still be in the mix!
You look and crunch. And crunch and look.
And you come upon the sweetest pepper!
Wow, was that good.
You crunch again, and yes – no heat and tons of sweet.
And you crunch again. You really like this one.
But as you get to the heart of the pepper, you make a terrible discovery.
There are no seeds in this pepper.
You rip open other peppers on this plant. None of them have seeds.
This chinense x annuum cross has teased you with a seedless pepper plant.
You put aside the sweetest pepper plant and you return to the F3 patch with a weight on your heart, and a hope. A hope that there is another sweetest pepper plant here. And perhaps that sweetest pepper plant will have seeds!