Sweet pepper, bell pepper or capsicum, regardless of what you call it, this versatile vegetable is a firm favourite in households worldwide. As easy to grow in pots as they are in the ground, and with many varieties to choose from, capsicums are a delicious addition to the warm weather garden.
Capsicums are a fruiting vegetable from the nightshade or Solanaceae family, the same family as tomato, eggplant, chilli and potato. Although commonly considered a summer vegetable, capsicums are actually a short-lived perennial grown as an annual in cooler climates due to their frost-sensitivity.
Originating in Mexico and Central and South America before spreading throughout Europe and Asia, they contain very high levels of vitamin C and are a great source of antioxidants. While most of us would be familiar with the common red and green varieties, capsicums can be found in a rainbow of colours from orange right through to dark purple and black, so they have a cheery ornamental value in the vegie patch, too.