July 25, 2015

Botanical Names: Bird's-Eye Chili (Kantharimulaku)

Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta or Angiosperms – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae (The Potato family)
Botanical name: Capsicum frutescens or C. annuum
Common Name: Bird's-Eye Chili
Malayalam Name: Kantharimulaku
Habit: Perennial Shrub

Chilies are one of the first spices used by humans anywhere in the world. In Kerala, Bird's-Eye Chili is known by the name "Kantharimulaku", which is one of the hottest chilies in the world. The fruits are much smaller in size, but more pungent than other species of Capsicum. Ripened fruits are red in color. The fruits are used to make curry powder, pepper powder and chili sauce. Fresh fruits are also used in cooking. The plant is having medicinal properties as well; it is used for treating arthritis, rheumatism, neuralgia, lumbago and chilblains. We have the plant in our garden, but due to heavy rains they had started to wilt. 


Location: My garden at Kottayam, Kerala