Capsicum annuum 'Purple Flash'
Common Name: ornamental pepper
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Solanaceae
Zone: 11 to 12
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June
Bloom Description: Purple
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful
Fruit: Showy


This ornamental pepper is grown as an annual in St. Louis. It performs best in moist, organically rich, fertile, well-drained soils in full sun. Best foliage color occurs in full sun. Plants have good tolerance for high heat, humidity and drought. ‘Purple Flash’ may be grown from seed. Start seed indoors 6-8 weeks before last spring frost date. Set seedlings or purchased plants out in the garden after last frost date. Space plants 8-12 inches apart. Avoid planting where peppers, tomatoes or eggplants previously grew. Plants may also be grown in containers. Plants generally need little pruning.

Noteworthy Characteristics

‘Purple Flash’ is a herbaceous ornamental pepper that is most noted for its near black foliage accented with occasional flashes of bright purple or white and its tiny jet black fruit. It grows vigorously in an upright bushy mound to 15” tall and 20” wide. Leaves retain good color throughout the growing season. Small dark purple flowers appear in clusters in early summer. Flowers are followed by small, round, glossy, jet black fruit. Fruits are technically edible but extremely hot.


No serious insect or disease problems. Fungal and bacterial leaf spot, wilt, mosaic virus and stem/root rot may occur. Potential insect pests include aphids, white flies, cutworms, pepper maggots and Colorado potato beetles.

Garden Uses

Bedding, borders, backgrounds, containers.