The peter pepper is also commonly referred to as a “penis pepper” because of its phallic shape and distinct head. They are an heirloom pepper comparable in heat to serrano chilis — so decently spicy! They grow to be 4-6″ long (lol), and start out green and mature into a bright red. You also may be able to find orange and yellow varieties. Because they look like a human penis, they have gone viral in recent years and the seeds are a popular novelty gift and many people grow them at home.

There is still mystique around the origin of the penis pepper, but they are commonly grown in Texas, Mexico, and Louisiana.

Are penis peppers real?

These peppers are definitely real, but there are plenty of scams abound. My friend purchased a pack of “peter pepper” seeds for me as a joke, but when I grew them they were actually cayenne peppers, not penis peppers. Big disappointment. So, if you are hoping to grow these dong-shaped peppers at home, make sure to buy the seeds from a reputable vendor, not a novelty store.

How hot?

10000-30000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Scientific name

Capsicum annuum


Peter peppers taste similar to jalapeños, but slightly sweeter and significantly spicier.


Peter peppers can be used similarly to serranos or jalapeños, or anywhere you would like to use a bright and moderately spicy pepper. They are not a common ingredient in mass-manufactured products like hot sauces, dried peppers, or chili powders. However, if you grow them at home you can preserve them by drying and grinding them, and use them in rubs, spice mixes, and dressings.

Where to buy peter (penis) peppers

While these peppers are definitely a real fruit, they have been popularized as a novelty item. You likely won’t find your local grocery store stocked with these penis-looking peps.

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Peter pepper seeds

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