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New golden pepper

'Escamillo' is an award-winning pepper for the north

Bullhorn peppers
'Carmen' (left) and 'Escamillo' (right) bullhorn peppers
It’s a challenge to grow peppers here in North Dakota. Our summers are too brief, too cool and too dry for optimal production.

That’s why it is important to grow a cultivar with a proven record of success in our state. Research trials have shown ‘Carmen’ to be one of the most reliable and productive pepper cultivars grown in North Dakota. Released in 2004, this Italian “bullhorn” type has a sweet flesh and is well suited for salads and roasting.

A promising new cultivar similar to ‘Carmen’ has been released for 2016: 'Escamillo'.

In the French opera, the gypsy Carmen fell in love with Escamillo, an eye-catching bullfighter. In our gardens this summer, we will have an opportunity to fall in love with 'Escamillo', an eye-catching pepper.

This golden bullhorn complements the red radiance of ‘Carmen’ (see photo). The cultivars have a similar size (6 inches long and 2.5 inches wide) and early maturity (60 days after transplanting to immature green; 80 days to mature red/gold).

‘Carmen’ and ‘Escamillo’ were developed by Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Located in Maine, Johnny’s is a leader in the development of cultivars for the north.

‘Escamillo’ is a winner of the 2016 National All America Selections Award. ‘Carmen’ won the same prestigious award in 2004.

Like Carmen the gypsy, I am captivated by Escamillo. Is this pepper as good as it looks? I can’t wait to try!

Written by Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University. Photos courtesy of All-America Selections. 

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