chinense Help sorting out the Ají Dulces and CP348

I’ve been absolutely enthralled by tending to my first, small, and very late chile garden for the past few months. Just a few ripe pods to inspire me to really dive in next year. Naturally, my 2022 grow list is somewhere between ambitious and foolhardy, and seeds are already coming in from around the globe. “We’ll save money by growing our own” never quite adds up in the end!

Anyway, I’m also making extensive notes as I read books, articles, or find obscure information in places like The Hot Pepper. (It’s actually becoming a bit of an encyclopedia; I might turn it into a wiki if it gets much bigger.) I’ve been able to collate information from multiple sources on the majority of cultivars I intend to grow, but one I’m excited about seems to only be documented in the catalog I bought it from. It’s Ají Dulce CP348, from the Christopher Phillips collection at Puckerbutt.

In seed catalogs, research literature, and here, every mention of Ají Dulce seems to refer to one of these. Those look great, and I’ll likely dip into them at some point. However, the CP348 is notable for (as described) large, apple-shaped pods which average 3 inches. A mild chinense with good flavor and big, stuffable pods sounds like a slam dunk. Has anyone here grown it or know more about it?

For that matter, a lot of seeds in the Christopher Phillips collection seem to be described very temptingly but are almost never talked about, despite being available for some years. Is there some reason for that, or is it just the vagaries of popularity?
 
I’ve been absolutely enthralled by tending to my first, small, and very late chile garden for the past few months. Just a few ripe pods to inspire me to really dive in next year. Naturally, my 2022 grow list is somewhere between ambitious and foolhardy, and seeds are already coming in from around the globe. “We’ll save money by growing our own” never quite adds up in the end!

Anyway, I’m also making extensive notes as I read books, articles, or find obscure information in places like The Hot Pepper. (It’s actually becoming a bit of an encyclopedia; I might turn it into a wiki if it gets much bigger.) I’ve been able to collate information from multiple sources on the majority of cultivars I intend to grow, but one I’m excited about seems to only be documented in the catalog I bought it from. It’s Ají Dulce CP348, from the Christopher Phillips collection at Puckerbutt.

In seed catalogs, research literature, and here, every mention of Ají Dulce seems to refer to one of these. Those look great, and I’ll likely dip into them at some point. However, the CP348 is notable for (as described) large, apple-shaped pods which average 3 inches. A mild chinense with good flavor and big, stuffable pods sounds like a slam dunk. Has anyone here grown it or know more about it?

For that matter, a lot of seeds in the Christopher Phillips collection seem to be described very temptingly but are almost never talked about, despite being available for some years. Is there some reason for that, or is it just the vagaries of popularity?

I've tried a few different varieties of heatless Chinenses. Mostly, they all taste fine. But, once I got over the novelty of a heatless Chinense, I'd start to run out of things to do with these peppers.

With respect to the CP348, I couldn't help but notice the 6-8 week germination time. That's a sign that these peppers are going to be challenging to start from seed. I don't know how much experience and practice you've had growing peppers from seed, but this particular pepper looks like it'll take some skill in that area.

To be honest, I'd recommend trying another of the Aji Dulce varieties, or one of the Chinense seasoning peppers. Then see if you're really intrigued by that kind of pepper. A 6-8 week germination period can be very frustrating. That's a lot of extra time for things to go wrong.
 
Thank you for the observations!

In general, I’ll be starting chinenses Feb 1 and annuums and baccatums Mar 1. I’ve added a Jan 1 start date for Ají Dulce (CP348), Wild Baccatum (CP203), and Pimenta Trepadeira do Werner (CP067), which all give that 6-8 week germination time. My set out time is usually last week in April.

I’ll take more sterilization precautions than usual on those, and will likely be using a peroxide soak. I have seed starting experience with cactuses… we’ll see how well that translates! I do have a bunch of other varieties planned, so my hopes aren’t pinned on these.
 
For that matter, a lot of seeds in the Christopher Phillips collection seem to be described very temptingly but are almost never talked about, despite being available for some years. Is there some reason for that, or is it just the vagaries of popularity?

Because Puckerbutt is intetested in selling Carolina Reaper seeds. I would assume that 95%+ of their seed sales are Reapers and to non-hobbyists that would be more intetested in a frat prank than the culinary benefits of say a heatless C.chinense.

The 6-8 week germination time is a big red flag and probably is put in place because the original stock supplied to them by Chris has never been freshened up.
 
Yeah, I did see some mixed reports on the germination rate of Puckerbutt seeds. Maybe that mixed reputation while being the exclusive source of a number of these explains their lack of popularity.

I’ll be able to report back on their viability in 2022… fingers crossed I get a few plants out of the packs!

As an aside, is it too early to post my full 2022 plans for feedback? If not, under what forum? I should probably wait until last harvest, at least.
 
Yeah, I did see some mixed reports on the germination rate of Puckerbutt seeds. Maybe that mixed reputation while being the exclusive source of a number of these explains their lack of popularity.

I’ll be able to report back on their viability in 2022… fingers crossed I get a few plants out of the packs!

As an aside, is it too early to post my full 2022 plans for feedback? If not, under what forum? I should probably wait until last harvest, at least.

You can start a thread in the Glog section for your upcoming grow.

P.S. Even old C.chinense seeds should germinate 10-20 days. If you run into issues I'm sure someone can help you out with seeds. Even C.P. himself is know to frequent this site. I wish I could help you out but I have never grown that one.
 
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