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Botanical Name

A botanical name is a formal scientific name given to a plant, algae, or fungi- living or defunct. There are an infinite number of plant species identified to date, and many of them are found around the world. Hence, the same plant can be called by several common names. Hence, the basic purpose of providing a botanical name is to reduce confusion or misidentification. Additionally, Latin is mostly used for the botanical names to describe specific characteristics of that species. Other botanical names use Latin along with a person’s name, usually the name of the scientist or the individual who discovered the plant.

Species of Chilli

Chilli peppers come in five varieties that have been domesticated. Many popular varieties of Capsicum annuum include bell peppers, wax, cayenne, jalapenos, Thai peppers, chiltepin, and all types of New Mexico chile. Malagueta, tabasco, peri-peri, and Malawian Kambuzi are all varieties of Capsicum frutescens. The hottest peppers, such as the naga, habanero, Datil, and Scotch bonnet, belong to the Capsicum Chinese family. The rocoto peppers of South America belong to the Capsicum Pubescens genus. Aji peppers from South America belong to the Capsicum baccatum genus.

There are several cultivars and methods of preparing chilli peppers that have various names for culinary use, even though there are only a few widely used varieties. Green and red bell peppers are both cultivars of C. annuum, with immature peppers being green. The jalapeno, poblano (also known as ancho when dried), New Mexico, serrano, and other cultivars are all members of the same genus. Bell peppers, sweet peppers, and spicy peppers are the three most popular types of peppers. The majority of common pepper varieties are classified as belonging to one of these groups or as a hybrid of the two.

Phonetics of Chilli

The three spellings of chilli are: chilli, chile, and chilli, these all are recognized by the dictionary. Below is their usage:

In traditional Anglophone parts of the United States and Canada, chilli is commonly used. However, it is also a common abbreviation for chilli con Carne (literally "chilli with meat"). Chilli powder, which may apply to pure dried, ground chilli peppers or a mixture containing other spices, is used in most variants.

Chile is the most popular Spanish spelling for this plant and its fruit in Mexico and many other Latin American countries, as well as some parts of the United States and Canada. Chile also refers to a thick, spicy, un-vinegared sauce made from this fruit, available in red and green varieties, and served over local food in the Southwest United States (particularly New Mexico), while chilli refers to a meat dish. chile or chiles is the plural form.

The Oxford English Dictionary mentions chile and chilli as variations of chilli, which was the original Romanization of the Náhuatl language word for the fruit (chilli). Chilli is the preferred British spelling, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. In Australia, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, and South Africa, chilli (and its plural chillies) is the most common spelling.

Botanical Name of Chilli

Chillies belong to the genus capsicum, of the flowering plants. There are almost 27 species that have been identified under this genus, each of the members are varied with respect to size, shape and colour.

Most of them are used for culinary purposes, such as the Capsicum annum, while others are used as natural insecticides. Chillies consist of a chemical called capsaicin, which when consumed induces the “burning” sensation. The Carolina Reaper is considered the world’s hottest chilli, with a 2,200,000 Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) rate. Capsaicin is also used to produce pepper spray for self-defence purposes and to control riots.

Importance of Botanical Name

Chilli is one of the best spices used in the kitchen for cooking various dishes such as pickles, chutney, etc. Red chillies are used as dried and powdered in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Chilli is used all around the world, due to its universal use, it is referred to as “the Queen of Spices”.

  • Appetizer: A mixed paste of chillies, salt and turmeric are used to make pickles. A small amount of it is used as an appetizer.

  • Diarrhoea: A combination of chillies, camphor, cumin seeds and asafoetida are given as a tablet to cure diarrhoea.

  • Pain and Sprain: To ease pain and sprain a mixture of red chillies with castor oil can be used.

  • Numbness: Mustard oil along with red chillies can be applied to cure lack of sensation in the legs.

  • Heart Attack: The University of Cincinnati found that chilli lowers blood pressure, reduces cholesterol levels and prevents arteriolosclerosis. This is due to the presence of capsaicin in it.

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FAQs on Botanical Name of Chilli

1. What are Indian Green Chillies and Red Chillies Called?

Green chilli is called Hari Mirch in Hindi, where "Hari" means "green" and "Mirch" means "chilli."  Mirch is commonly known in Hindi in India which is generally used in food. The mirch ka botanical name “ capsicum frutescens”. Indian green chiles are fresh, slender chiles that are used in curries, stews, pickles, and eaten raw as a condiment.  Red chillies are called lal mirch which is commonly used as a powder in foods. Red chillies are also referred to as chilli pepper. The red chilli botanical name is Capsicum annum which is found in Indian foods or can say without this Indian food is incomplete.

2. Why is it Referred to as Chilli?

Chillies get their name from the Nahuatl (Aztecan) chilli, which is the local name for the peppers. When referring to the peppers locally or in Europe, the Spanish explorers kept the name (Chili). Chilly is derived from the Middle English word "chile," which means "cold." as chilli is referred to as Mirch in Hindi. The Mirchi botanical name and botanical name chilli are referred to as capsicum frutescens.

3. How Unique is the Botanical Name?

The botanical name is a unique name given to a specific plant, that can be referred to throughout the world. The same botanical name cannot be used for other plants in the world. The botanical name is mainly used to reduce the confusion and misidentification of people of various countries, various languages, etc. Common names for a plant can vary with respect to languages, locations, etc. For instance, the morning glory is referred to as bindweed, small bindweed, and liseron des champs in various locations. 

4. What are the Rules for Botanical Naming of Plants?

In 1735, Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish naturalist created the Latin binomial system to classify plants. He used Latin in particular because it was once the universal language in the Western part of the country among educated people. Linnaeus’ system has been updated a number of times over the centuries but it stood essentially intact. In the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature maintained by the International Society of Plant Taxonomists the rules for naming a plant with a botanical name are mentioned.

5. Why does a Botanical Name always use Two Words?

The botanical name of any plant is always given with at least two words. The first word of the botanical name denotes the genus. A genus is nothing but a group of plants that has a certain botanical feature in common, such as leaf arrangement, flower type, growth habit, etc. It is always in the upper case. The second word of the name is the particular plant's species name. This name is based on the attribute, habitat, or other distinguishing characteristics of the plant. It is always in the lower case. These two words refer to the species identifier for the plant. A third word can also be added to identify a distinct variety of the plant within the species.

6. What is the Botanical Name of Chilli?

Chillies belong to the genus capsicum, of the flowering plants. There are almost 27 species that have been identified under this genus, each of the members are varied with respect to size, shape and colour.


Most of them are used for culinary purposes, such as the Capsicum annum, while others are used as natural insecticides. Chillies consist of a chemical called capsaicin, which when consumed induces the “burning” sensation. The Carolina Reaper is considered the world’s hottest chilli, with a 2,200,000 Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) rate. Capsaicin is also used to produce pepper spray for self-defence purposes and to control riots.

7. What Are Some Uses of Chilli?

  • Fight Migraine: Researchers have found that chilli has the ability to fight against headaches, migraine and sinusitis.

  • Sinus Prevention: Heat characteristics of the capsaicin are helpful in clearing mucus from the nasal passage and also help to fight sinuses.

  • Lose Weight: Capsaicin is naturally thermogenic, which helps to activate the metabolism adipose layer of the body thereby it reduces fat to a certain extent.

  • Side effects: Though chilli has various advantages it has side effects too. Chillies are not suggested for a person who has acidity, hyper-acidity, ulcer and stomach burning related problems.


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