a small numex twilight chili plant

Numex Twilight Peppers: A beautiful ornamental with a salty taste

Numex Twilight peppers are a popular choice for gardeners looking to add color and visual interest to their landscapes. While these peppers are technically edible, their primary appeal lies in their ornamental value rather than their taste. 

Read on to learn everything you need to know about this pepper! 

Facts about

Heat level:
30,000 - 50,000
Capsicum annuum
North America

What are NuMex Twilight peppers? 

NuMex Twilight peppers are small and ornamental peppers measuring approximately one inch long. They have a bulb-like shape and a pointed end and stand upright on the plant. What sets them apart is their unique rainbow of colors, with each pepper aging from purple to yellow, then orange, and finally red. 

History and background?

NuMex Twilight peppers are a hybrid of the Thai ornamental pepper released in 1992. They are significantly less hot than the Thai ornamental, plus they have a purple hue that makes them unique. They were created at New Mexico State University, where all their designed hybrid chilies are labeled “NuMex” — hence the name. Researchers cultivated these peppers for ornamental value, specifically as potted plants

How hot are they? 

NuMex Twilight peppers are not just eye candy; they pack a punch too! With 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville heat units, these chilies are as hot as cayenne and tabasco peppers. Don’t let their small size fool you – these peppers are surprisingly spicy!

Are Numex Twilight peppers edible?

NuMex Twilight peppers are edible but were cultivated as ornamental peppers, not edible peppers. No cuisine type commonly uses this pepper as it was only developed a few decades ago and is primarily decorative in function. You also are unlikely to find recipes based around this pepper. 

What do NuMex Twilight peppers taste like? 

The NuMex Twilight pepper is not the most flavorful, but its moderate heat and stunning colors make up for it. The flavor is surprisingly salty at first taste, and then you’ll notice a bright and bitter flavor. These chilies are versatile in the kitchen and can enhance your salsa or salad raw. They also dry well and look stunning when pickled in jars.

How big do Numex Twilight plants get?

Numex Twilight pepper plants typically grow about 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) tall and wide. While many pepper plants survive in container gardens, this pepper was specifically designed to thrive as a potted plant rather than being planted directly into the earth. 

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Where to get Numex Twilight peppers

You won’t find Numex Twilight peppers fresh at your local grocery store or in commercial food products like spices or hot sauce. Instead, your local nursery may have them for sale as ornamentals, or you can order seeds online from specialty sellers if you’d like to grow them at home.

Should you grow Numex Twilight peppers?

If you are looking for a low-maintenance ornamental pepper with decent flavor (or simply for the aesthetic!), the Numex Twilight may interest you. They are beautiful, colorful plants that will brighten up any small space garden, and they are also edible and flavorful. 

Remember that these peppers require an extremely long growing season, so they may not be suitable for some climates. It takes approximately 120 days from sowing for flowers to form and an additional 90 days for the fruit to mature.