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The chili pepper is a member of the deadly nightshade family, Solanaceae, which includes potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) except for sweet potatoes, the berry fruit of tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum), eggplants (Solanum melongena), tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), and the poisonous deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna). The chili plants originated in Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean, and were first cultivated over 5,000 years ago. Chilies are one of the world’s most used spices, which includes the dried forms of chili powder, cayenne, and paprika. There are 2,000 to 3,000 varieties of chilies grown, but only a few are commonly grown. The five domesticated species of chili peppers that are commonly grown are Capsicum annuum, Capsicum chinense, Capsicum frutescens, Capsicum pubescens, and Capsicum baccatum.

Chili species are ...

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