Chiltepin, originally uploaded by trekr.

Thomas Jefferson received Chiltepin seeds from Samuel Brown of San Antonio, Texas in 1812. He sowed them in plot XII and the Chiltepin is still grown in the Monticello Vegetable Garden today. Brown wrote Jefferson that the peppers were “essential to my health as salt itself”. Jefferson sent some of the seeds to Bernard McMahon, a Philadelphia nurseryman who marketed the plant as an ornamental which became known as McMahon’s Texas Bird Pepper. The Chiltepin was declared the native pepper of Texas in 1997 by House Concurrent Resolution No. 82, 75th Legislature, Regular Session.

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