When it comes to comparing pepper varieties, there are some undeniable similarities between habanero vs ghost pepper plants. However, which one of these peppers is hotter, and what can you expect out of growing either of these pepper varieties in your own garden? Are the habanero pepper and the ghost pepper related in any way?
In this article, we will compare and contrast habanero peppers with ghost peppers so that you can fully understand the differences between them. We will go over what these peppers look like physically as well as what they taste like, and how they are typically used. Let’s get started and learn all about these peppers now!
Comparing Habanero vs Ghost Pepper
|Classification||Capsicum chinense var. Habanero||Capsicum chinense × Capsicum frutescens|
|Description||Classic pepper appearance, with a wider top and narrower base. Comes in a variety of colors, including orange, brown, white, green, and red. Plants reach up to 7 feet tall in hot, tropical regions, but closer to 4 feet tall in the average home garden||Traditional pepper appearance and size that comes in a variety of colors including red, orange, and black. Some varieties are bumpy, but most ghost peppers remain long, slender, and smooth. Plant grows up to 4 feet tall on average|
|Uses||One of the most popular peppers used around the world in a variety of cuisines. While it isn’t the hottest pepper anymore, it is a common parent pepper to others||Popular in a variety of cooking, including hot sauces, curries, and fish. Also used in pepper sprays and defense mechanisms|
|Origin and Growing Preferences||Originally grown in the Amazon; prefers full sun and water that doesn’t allow the roots to rot||Originally grown in India; prefers full sun and average water, and germinates quickly|
|Scoville Scale||Roughly 350,000||Roughly 1 million|
Key Differences Between Habanero vs Ghost Pepper
There are a number of differences between habanero peppers and ghost peppers. For example, the ghost pepper is a hybrid pepper made from habanero varieties, while habanero peppers are their own distinct pepper variation. Habanero peppers come in more colors compared to ghost peppers, but ghost peppers are hotter than habanero peppers. In addition, habanero pepper plants grow larger than ghost pepper plants, depending on the region.
Let’s go over all of these differences and a few more in detail now.
Habanero vs Ghost Pepper: Classification
The classification of both the habanero pepper and the ghost pepper are interesting in that these two peppers are technically related. The ghost pepper is a hybrid pepper between two chili plants including the habanero species, while habaneros are a specific variety of the habanero species. To look at these peppers in more detail, you can classify habaneros as Capsicum chinense var. Habanero, while ghost peppers are classified as Capsicum chinense × Capsicum frutescens.
Habanero vs Ghost Pepper: Description
You may not be able to tell a habanero pepper apart from a ghost pepper, so proceed with caution if you plan on eating either option! Both of them have a classic pepper appearance, though the ghost pepper is occasionally skinnier compared to the rounder habanero pepper. They both come in a variety of colors including red, orange, and brown, but habanero peppers seem to come in more colors compared to ghost peppers.
There may be some varieties of habanero peppers that are bumpy in appearance, but this is a trait that is commonly exhibited in ghost peppers. When it comes to the plants themselves, ghost pepper plants reach up to 4 feet tall on average, while habanero pepper plants exceed 7 feet tall in certain locations of the world, particularly subtropical regions and hot environs.
Habanero vs Ghost Pepper: Uses
Given that they are both chili peppers, habaneros and ghost peppers have extremely similar uses to one another. However, habanero peppers are not nearly as spicy as ghost peppers are, so they create a mild or hot sauce or addition to any cuisine. In addition to this, habanero peppers are typically used as a parent pepper for any hybrids, while the ghost pepper is a hybrid itself!
Habanero vs Ghost Pepper: Origin and How to Grow
Speaking of hybrid peppers, it is interesting to learn where the habanero pepper and the ghost pepper originated from. For example, the ghost pepper originated in India, while the habanero pepper originated in the Amazon. This is where this particular pepper thrives, enjoying full sun and plenty of heat. Ghost peppers grow similarly to habaneros, and both of these pepper plants need an adequate amount of watering to produce fruits, but not too much water so that their roots rot.
Habanero vs Ghost Pepper: Scoville Scale
It may be common knowledge, but it is important to note that the ghost pepper is much hotter than the habanero pepper overall. In fact, the ghost pepper was originally created to be a world record-breaking pepper for its heat. For example, habanero peppers typically do not exceed 350,000 on the Scoville scale, while the ghost pepper regularly exceeds 1 million on the Scoville scale. Habanero pepper heat takes its time on your tongue, while ghost pepper heat is immediate and intense- and the Carolina Reaper pepper is even hotter!
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The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Kateryna Bibro
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