Capsicum tepin, a species originally cultivated in Mexico, is used worldwide as a food and spice. Commonly called Bird Pepper for its size, this plant grows no taller than 90 cm high and 60 cm wide.
It is in leaf all year, simple oval, lance-shaped leaves. Bell-shaped, white to green flowers appear in spring and summer, and are followed by the fruits. The fruits are very small in size and round, no longer than 2 inches. They turn from green to red as they mature. The tepin pepper is one of the smallest, being only 1 cm long. It is one of the world's hottest peppers, but the dried pepper flakes are the hottest part of all peppers. Plants are late maturing, usually requiring 120 days for green fruit and 200 days from the setting out of plants to mature red ripe fruit.
Hardiness zones 9 -11, (-5°C/25°F, 4°C/40°F) in winter. Tepin thrives in hot weather. As with all peppers, the tepin does well in an area with good morning sun, in soil with an acidity level around 5-6 pH. It should be watered only when dry. Overly moist soil and roots will produce bitter-tasting peppers. Peppers are not heavy feeder. Once flowering begins, fertilizer should be withheld; otherwise, flowers may drop without setting fruit.