The Myth About Bell Pepper Gender

The Myth About Bell Pepper Gender

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Have you ever wondered why some peppers have four lobes and others have only three lobes?

Some people say that peppers with four lobes are female while peppers with only three lobes are male. They also say that the number of lobes affect the taste of the pepper and the amount of seeds it has. Some people are claiming that female peppers taste sweeter when you eat it raw and have more seeds than the male pepper. Male peppers taste better when cooked. Also female peppers are said to be heavier because they contain more seeds, so some people recommend that you buy the male ones to save money. These claims are absolutely not true.

If you are still arguing about what pepper tastes better, the pepper with three lobes or the pepper with four lobes? Here is the answer. Different bell pepper varieties have different tastes. The number of lobes in a pepper is not even a good factor to determine what variety they are. A single plant can produce peppers with three, four, or five lobes.

Peppers are a member of the Nightshade family. Plants that belong to the Nightshade family have a “perfect” flower. “Perfect” flowers mean that these flowers have a male sexual reproductive organ and at the same time a female sexual reproductive organ (stamen and pistil). This only means that pepper flowers are hermaphroditic or they are bisexual flowers.

Plants that have individual female flowers and individual male flowers can only produce fruits with a particular gender and they usually produce a female fruit. Peppers are different from these plants. If a pepper that has four lobes is said to be a female and a pepper that has three lobes is a male, what gender is a pepper that has five lobes?

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Bell peppers contain ovaries, the ovaries then produce seeds. A pepper is produced by the process of self-fertilization, since pepper flower has both the male and female gender. Peppers have one or more chambers and a central placenta and this is where the seeds are born. The number of a pepper’s chamber does not affect the taste and number of seeds produced.

Final thoughts!

The number of lobes in a bell pepper does not affect its taste and texture. There might be some differences like the size and the number of seeds produced but these differences are insignificant. Appearance is the only thing that peppers differ in.

Image credits:

Top: gardenfrugal.com

Bottom: J. Henderson / showmeoz.wordpress.com