The herb with a bite
Cayenne pepper consists of the fresh or dried fruits of different capsicum plants, Capsicum annuum and C. frutescens, members of the nightshade family that also includes sweet bell peppers, paprika, or pimento. The capsicum plant grows from 8 to 40 inches in height, and the fruit is harvested when completely ripe.
Cayenne pepper, which is also known as red pepper or chili pepper, is indigenous to South America. Chili is actually the Aztec name for cayenne pepper. Today it is grown throughout much of the warmer regions of the world. Cayenne was brought to Europe from the West Indies by Christopher Columbus. From Europe it spread to the rest of the world.
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