I just discovered this ornamental pepper growing at Mounts Botanical Center, it is the first-ever black-leafed Pepper!
Apparently Black Pearl has been around for awhile, it is winner of the 2005 Fleuroselect Quality Mark and a 2006 All-America Selection Award. Look at this beauty, the leaves are pure black and the fruit matures to deep red -- perfect for containers as a focal or specimen plant as well as the garden!
New leaves on the plant start out green, but with sun exposure quickly turn a rich, glossy black. Very well-branched, this upright little plant makes a good showing alone in a container or as part of a mixed foliage or flower-and-foliage design. The black leaves as a backdrop make every other plant’s color pop!
Mature size is 14 to 18 inches high and 12 to 16 inches wide, Black Pearl sets groups of 3/4-inch fruit that is rounded at the stem with a point at the tip. The fruit emerges purple-black, turns slightly green while ripening to a rich, deep red. The fruit is edible, though VERY hot (above 30,000 Scoville Units comparable to Cayenne Pepper and Tabasco Pepper). You may choose to leave it on the plant for its attractive red-hot color.
Quick Facts –
Botanical Name: Capsicum annuum Black Pearl
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Soil Types/Tolerance: Normal, loamy
Plant Habit: Upright
Width: 12 in - 16 in Height: 14 in - 18 in
Foliage Color: Black
Flower Color: Lilac
Fruit Color: Red
Bloom Season: Early Summer to Late Summer
Seasons Of Interest: Fall / Winter
Uses: Containers, Ornamental
Additional Features: Edible (Hot)
Special Resistance: Pest Resistant