Habaneros, Scotch Bonnets, and the Bhut Jolokia are
the most commonly grown varieties of the pepper species Capsicum
chinense. This species comes in many forms of pods ranging
from round, top-shaped, long, or lantern-shaped. Colors can range
from white, yellow, orange, red, and brown when ripe.
The Habaneros and Scotch Bonnets when ripe, or dried and powdered , have a unique apricot scent.
There are at least 500-1,000 different varieties of this
group of peppers worldwide, and they range from mild, like the
Puerto Rican Cachucha pepper, to the outrageously-hot Bhut Jolokia
and Fatali peppers.
There are several dozen varieties of Bird Peppers known throughout the world.
The two best known Bird Pepper varieties in the United States are:
TEPIN= Chiltecpin, Chiltepin, Chile mosquito, Chile de pajaro, Chile silvestre or Tecpintle.
The world's hottest pepper, collected from wild stands that grow in the mountains of northern Mexico and southern Arizona, and grows wild through central and South America. Pods are round, 1/4" across, turns red when ripe.
PEQUIN=Chilipiquin (Mexico), Turkey Pepper (Texas), Grove Pepper (in orange groves, Southern Florida), and Pring-kee-new [Rat-turd pepper] (Thailand). Pods are oval, less than 1" long with the smallest pods being the hottest. Grows wild in Texas, Florida, and south throughout the Americas.
An interesting story about the bird peppers:
Birds cannot taste the hotness in peppers and the fruit of the bird peppers are so small that they are eaten whole. The bird gizzards break up the pods and seeds pass through undigested and surrounded by nice nitrogenous fertilizer. Mammals, on the other hand, are discouraged by the extreme hotness of the bird peppers. In Texas, where they call them Turkey Pepper, that the wild birds intentionally eat a lot of peppers, which then flavors their flesh and makes the turkeys distasteful to carnivores.
Hot Pepper Links:
PEPPER HOTNESS SCALE--DREMANN'S.
PEPPER SEEDS of Habanero, Scotch Bonnet, Tepin and other common peppers.
TEPIN DRIED FLAKES, for those brave souls with fire in their heart.
PEPPER SEED GROWING INFORMATION.