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June 7, 2021Back to blog feed
When late summer rolls around in southeastern Colorado, the smell of roasting chile peppers seemingly wafts through the air. While Pueblo chile peppers are a world-renown favorite, there’s a newcomer in town. Meet the Pueblo Primrose: a new variety of ornamental chile pepper plants developed right in the heart of the Lower Arkansas Valley.
This new breed of chile pepper is not a descendant of the Pueblo chile, but it was developed by the same man who helped bring the modern Pueblo chile to the forefront. Dr. Mike Bartolo is a vegetable crop specialist with Colorado State University who spent 13 years developing this particular breed.
Bartolo and his team let nature guide the development of this plant, which originated from an open-pollinated ornamental pepper variety called “Holiday Cheer.” Standing at 12-16 inches in height, the Pueblo Primrose is a fair bit taller than its predecessor and produces fruits that start in a cream color before gradually turning red. The “primrose” portion of the name is illustrative of its elegant growth pattern, and adding “Pueblo” pays homage to the region in which it was developed. While the chiles are technically edible, they’re extremely spicy.
The Pueblo Primrose debuted last year at the Colorado State Trial Flower Garden in Fort Collins, but the 2021 season marks its availability to the public. Dr. Bartolo linked up with Palmer Land Conservancy and the Pueblo Food Project to highlight this new chile pepper plant to help raise awareness around the importance of local food and agriculture. The even better news? A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the peppers will be donated to both organizations.
The lower Arkansas Valley is an agricultural powerhouse and boasts a variety of crops, but chile peppers seem to especially thrive in the regions’s long, hot, and dry summer months. You can now enjoy these ornate, spicy pepper plants at home. Here are a few retailers who are selling them: