A new culinary ornamental pepper
bred by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Beltsville,
Md., is earning accolades.
A new culinary ornamental pepper bred by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Beltsville, Md., is earning accolades.
The eye-catching Black Pearl, released in 2005, was recently honoured as a 2006 All-America Selections (AAS) winner. The award recognizes new flower and vegetable varieties that demonstrate “superior garden performance” in trials conducted throughout the country.
With moderately shiny black leaves and glossy fruits that ripen from black to red, Black Pearl offers a temptation few pepper enthusiasts can resist.
It took years to refine Black Pearl’s striking appearance and spicy flavor. Once perfected, it underwent hundreds of trials to determine its response to different environments. Black Pearl was developed by plant geneticists John Stommel and Robert Griesbach and tested with help from PanAmerican Seed Company, based in Elburn, Ill., which entered the plant in the AAS competition.
In trials, Black Pearl thrived in a variety of environments throughout the country. In addition, it resisted the ravages of drought, as well as of many insects and fungi. Since it went on the market, more than 2 million seeds of Black Pearl have been sold
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