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Guampinha de Veado

Written by: Luciano Coelho

The Guampinha de Veado ("deer's horn") is a semi-wild C. baccatum variety which grows as a landrace in the south of Brazil.  It's originally from the city of Piratini in the Campanha region of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. 

Guampinha de veado pod
 

The region's climate is subtropical (temperatures range between 20C and 35C on summer and between 5C and 25C during winter) and very humid.  The vegetation is a mix of steppe and savannah with grasslands, making it a perfect spot for cattle raising.

Well, enough about the region, let's move on to the actual chile variety :-)

This is a very special type of C. baccatum, which doesn't fit very well in any of the described C. baccatum varieties (ie. C. baccatum var. pendulum, C. baccatum var. baccatum and C. baccatum var. praetermissum).

Typical C. baccatum flower 

The flowers are typical of a C. baccatum, white with yellow spots, but are rather small (ca. 1,5cm diameter) and the petals borders merge with each other.  The calyx margin is dentate and has no annular constriction.

The fruits don't ressemble the typical  

The fruits are very small, ca. 4-5cm long and 0,5cm wide.  It's rather pungent, but the heat eases out pretty quickly, causing just a mild temporary burning sensation in the mouth.  The fruits grow in an erect position and, as is common to other C. baccatum varieties, there is only one flower/fruit per axil.

Very productive plant

This plant grows easily in the wild, with no extra care.

Growing in the wild with no extra care 

This particular specimen has been very productive for many years in a row.

Full view of a big plant 

This particular plant has a rather interesting story, as reported by the farmhand who works at my family's farm in Brazil.  His wife's parents have been growing this variety for a long time in a nearby farm and has been used to cook in our farm as well.  At some point, somehow, a free-range chicken ended up eating one of them.  Now you know the results :) That's right, the plant started growing by itself in a chicken-dung box! Then it was transplanted into a better, fenced out spot, in order to protect it from other animals.  And that's how it's been growing and producing loads of chiles for years, without any further care! Well, with the brazilian climate that's kind of easy ;)

This bush is so big that one can even "swim" on it, as my brother (Gafanha) is doing in this picture ;)

Swimming in the plant! 

Unfortunately, it's very prone to anthracnose, which is caused by a fungus (Colletotrichum spp.) that thrives in very humid conditions, as you can see in the photo below.

Anthracnose 



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