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Tomatoes | Peppers | Other Heirloom Veggies |  Lettuce | Herbs

A sample of Contrary Mary’s peppers (thanks, Kathy!): Merlot, Golden Treasure, Black Hungarian, and Early Jalapeno

A selection of 2013 peppers: Wrinkled Old Man, Ancho, Black Hungarian, Banana Hungarian wax

Peppers New For 2019

Cayenne Long Slim



Golden California Wonder

Horizon Bell

Jalapeno Lemon Spice

Quadrato D’Asti Bell

Rewia Bell


Thunder Mountain

Peppers New For 2018


Cabaca Roxa


Garden Salsa


Craig’s Grande Jalapeno


Santa Fe Grande

Sugar Rush Peach



Pepper ‘Ancho Gigantica’ 
I’ve really expended my list of Heirloom peppers (I guess I can be a WEE bit obsessive!) There’s something for everyone; from the hottest hotties to the gentlest sweeties! All the peppers do FABULOUS in containers, and most of them do double duty as both useful and beautiful. Go ahead, ya know ya wanna try a bunch…!

24″ ht (85-90 days) – ($4.25) This southwestern heirloom is used for stuffing when fresh and green (called Poblano) or sauces when red and dried (called Ancho). Perfect for Chile rellenos and mole; somewhat sweet but with a bite (about 500-1000 Scovilles!).

Pepper ‘Banana Sweet’

Pepper Banana Sweet

24 ” ht (78 days) – ($4.50) A 6-7” long sweetie that is perfect pickled, stuffed, or fresh….yum!


Pepper ‘Barker’s Hot’

Pepper Barkers Hot

30″ ht (85 days) – ($4.50) One of THE Hottest New Mexico green Chile varieties, this one forms very hot but tasty 5-7” long peppers—-YOWZERS! Photo courtesy Baker Creek.


Pepper ‘Black Hungarian’

Pepper Black Hungarian

30″ ht (75-80 days) – ($4.50) This gorgeous heirloom produces lots of shiny black fruits that look like Jalapenos; foliage is also ornamental with purple veining. Spicy but not hot with a yummy flavor! Perfect for containers, and ya know I’m gonna have one in a pot for you to envy! Photo courtesy Totally Tomatoes.



Pepper ‘Buena Mulata’

Pepper Buena Mulata

24″ ht (80 days) – ($4.50) A HOT beauty with complex flavors! This rare pepper changes from purple to pink to yellow to orange and finally ends up red; she is gorgeous AND yummy! Great for salsas and Caribbean cooking, and benefits the Dr. William Weaver’s seed saving work in the Roughwood Collection. VERY LIMITED! Photo courtesy customer Joe.


Pepper ‘Bulgarian Carrot’

(AKA Shipkas)

Picture Pepper Maule's Red Hot (top) and Bulgarian Carrot (my pic)

Pepper Maule’s Red Hot (top) and Bulgarian Carrot

18″ ht (70 days) – ($4.50) This oddity was smuggled out through the Iron Curtain (yes I love these Heirloom adventure stories!) and bears clusters of 3 ½” fluorescent orange hot and fruity peppers in copious amounts. I’ve seen the Scoville rating anywhere from 5,000 to 30,000, so your guess is as good as mine; all I know is that they are AWESOME in chutneys, salsas, or roasted (and absolutely adorable too!)


Pepper ‘Bull Nose’

Pepper Bull Nose

24-30″ ht (80 days) – ($4.50) This Heirloom from India was grown by Thomas Jefferson and produces lots of big bell shaped fruits that are sweet with a little kick and are great stuffed, pickled or fresh! Photo courtesy Baker Creek.


Pepper ‘Buran’ 

24″ ht (80 days) – ($4.50) This Polish Heirloom is extremely productive and very sweet, whether picked green or red! Makes adorable 4” x 3” peppers that are great stuffed or fresh.


Pepper ‘Cabuchile’

24″ ht (?85 days?) – ($4.50) This one from Mexico produces 3” long thin peppers that are one of the few hot peppers that won’t upset your tummy! Its “burn” fades quickly, with an estimated 6,000 Scovilles (hot but not impossible!), maturing from green to red.


Pepper ‘Canary Bell’

Pepper Canary Bell

24″ ht (70 days) – ($4.50) A pretty sweet bell that ripens to bright canary bird yellow….very thick walls and crisp and produces early and often! Has great resistance to Tobacco Mosaic Virus also. Photo courtesy Baker Creek.


Pepper ‘Chinese Five Color’

Pepper Chinese Five Color

24″ ht (78 days) – ($4.50) This VERY hot pepper has been described as looking like “bright Christmas tree lights”….delish AND ornamental! It forms an attractive, bushy plant, with the peppers turning an array of colors from purple, yellow, cream, orange and red. EXCELLENT for salsa! Photo courtesy Baker Creek.


Pepper ‘Chocolate Habanero’ 

Pepper Chocolate Habanero

24″ ht (90 days) – ($4.50) We grew this one a couple of years ago and it is one of Contrary Charlie’s faves! It is an EXTREMELY productive producer of smokin’ hot (300,000 Scovilles!!!) beautiful chocolate brown 2” peppers. Use carefully! Photo courtesy Baker Creek.


Pepper ‘Corne de Chevre’ 

Pepper Corne de Chevre

24″ ht (85 days) – ($4.50) Well of COURSE we have a Goat’s Horn pepper here, and this one is originally from the Basques of Spain. Dry it or use it fresh…..put a little spicy goat in your life (medium hot)! Photo courtesy Baker Creek.


Pepper ‘Datil’ 

24″ ht (100 days) – ($4.50) A VERY hot habanero relative (chinense species) probably introduced from the Caribbean Islands to St. Augustine Florida. Produces 3½” that ripen to a bright orange-yellow; smokin’ hot like the habaneros but more complex and fruity. Probably around 350,000 Scovilles….WHEW!


Pepper ‘Early Jalapeno’ 

Pepper Early Jalapeno

Compact (60-65 days) – ($4.50) This one produces 3 ½” x 1 ½” sausage shaped fruits in abundance. 10-15 days earlier than regular Jalapenos. It starts deep green and matures to red; we had TONS of them even in 2009 with all the cool and wet weather! Very hot at 25000-30000 Scoville units! Photo courtesy Totally Tomatoes.


Pepper ‘Estanceno Chile’

Pepper Estanceno Chile

24″ ht (80 days) – ($4.50) A northern New Mexico family heirloom that produces 8-10” HOT peppers that are perfect fresh for salsas or dried for chili powder. VERY productive! Photo courtesy Baker Creek.


Pepper ‘Etuida’ 

Pepper Etuida

30″ ht (75 days) – ($4.50) Baker Creek describes this one as “one of the best peppers we ever tasted”! A honkin’ big, sweet, juicy, blocky, Polish bell pepper can reach up to a half a pound! Turns a gorgeous tangerine orange. Photo courtesy Baker Creek.


Pepper ‘Fish’ 

Pepper Fish

24″ ht (80 days) – ($4.50) This beauty is an African American heirloom (prior to the 1870’s) that makes an OUTSTANDING ornamental due to its gorgeous foliage and fruit! The foliage is variegated green and white, and the 2-3” slightly curved fruit ranges in color from cream with green stripes to orange with brown stripes to glowing red. Perfect for containers and is traditionally used in Chesapeake Bay to flavor fish dishes or in chutneys served with crab cakes (double yum!) Medium to pretty hot!


Pepper ‘Fooled You’ Jalapeno 

Fooled You Jalapeno

27″ ht (65 days) – ($4.50) A customer brought me one of these plants and they are AWESOME! VERY flavorful but without the heat of regular Jalapenos; perfect for sauces, salsa and stir fry! Photo courtesy Totally Tomatoes.


Pepper ‘Friariello di Napoli’

Picture Pepper Friarello (my pic)

Pepper Friarello

18″ ht (?75 days?) – ($4.50) This is THE famous frying pepper of Naples, Italy! Produces LOTS of small, cone shaped peppers that are sweet and yummy. Fry ‘em up or pickle ‘em!


Pepper ‘Georgia Flame’ 

24″ ht (90 days) – ($4.50) An heirloom from the Republic of Georgia that produces tons of 6-8” long crunchy peppers that are perfect for salsa — hot but not overwhelming.

Pepper ‘Grandpa’s Home’

Pepper Grandpas Home

24″ ht (80 days) – ($4.50) This is a hot pepper that originated in Siberia, so it is great to overwinter indoors as it sets fruit even under low light! Produces pretty hot (reviews range from hot to super hot) 2” bright red peppers that grow upright. Super high yielder too! Photo courtesy Baker Creek.

Pepper ‘Jimmy Nardello Italian’

Picture: Pepper Jimmy Nardello Italian

Pepper Jimmy Nardello Italian

4-30″ ht (80 days) – ($4.50) O.K., get ready for a WAY cool Heirloom story… 1897 the Nardello family set sail from Ruoti, Italy to America with some great pepper seeds. They then settled in Naugatuck, Connecticut and continued to grow these peppers that they eventually named for their fourth son Jimmy (wonder why him???) It is a long (10”) thin skinned frying pepper that is so very rich in taste it was placed in ‘The Ark of Taste’ by the Slow Food Organization. Dries very easily and ripens to a rich red. Keep the great tradition going (or should I say “growing”??!) (photo courtesy customer Tim – thanks!)

Pepper ‘King of the North’ 

Pepper King of the North

28″ ht (65-70 days) – ($4.50) We grew this Sweet bell pepper in 2009 and it was AWESOME! It bears huge (6” x 4”) blocky green peppers maturing to red. Excellent for short season areas like ours; VERY prolific producers! Photo courtesy Totally Tomatoes.

 Pepper ‘Leutschauer Paprika’ 

Pepper Leutschauer Paprika

30″ ht (85 days) – ($4.50) A RARE Hungarian heirloom that produces copious amounts of medium hot paprika peppers that are mahhhhhvelous for drying to make powder! Photo courtesy Baker Creek.


Pepper ‘Lipstick’ 

Pepper Lipstick

24″ ht (70 days) – ($4.50) This cutie produces 4” pimento-type peppers that are very sweet, very crunchy, and very productive! Early producer too!


Pepper ‘Maule’s Red Hot’

Pepper Maules Red Hot

24-30″ ht (80 days) – ($4.50) This hot (how’d ya guess?!) pepper is a long (10”) twisted Cayenne that is great for drying for hot pepper flakes, or just putting lotsa flavor in your hot sauce. Around 30000-50000 Scovilles (too hot for me!); VERY limited! (photo courtesy Baker Creek)


Pepper ‘McMahon’s Red Bird’

Pepper McMahons Red Bird

(AKA Chiletepin or Bird’s Eye Pepper) 

30″ ht (90 days) – ($4.50) This heirloom was a gift to Thomas Jefferson in 1812 and is the official pepper of Texas (how’s that for trivia!) It produces 3/8” round green to red fruit that will knock your socks off at 80000 to 100000 Scoville’s (?hotter than a Habanero?!) WHEW…I think I’ll just grow it for the cute factor! Photo courtesy Totally Tomatoes.


 Pepper ‘Melrose’ 

Pepper Melrose

24-30″ ht (?65 days?) – ($4.50) OK everyone that’s been asking me to grow it, here it is! A fantastic Italian heirloom frying pepper that bears 4” rich, sweet red peppers early and often! Great fried or fresh.


Pepper ‘Midnight Dreams Bell’

Pepper Midnight Dreams Bell

24″ ht (75 days) – ($4.50) Talk about a stunner both looks and taste-wise, this phenomenal sweet bell turns obsidian-black….talk about a visual pop in your salad! Tastes as great as they look too! Our photo!


Pepper ‘Peperoncino’

30″ ht (72 days) – ($4.50) Yes, these are the ones you see pickled in jars! They produces lots of 2-4” yellowish green fruits; best harvested when green. From a Greek seed source!


Pepper ‘Purple Beauty’

Pepper Purple Beauty #2

Pepper Purple Beauty #1

24″ ht (75 days) – ($4.50) This yummy pepper produces small to medium crisp sweet bell peppers in abundance; an AWESOME color too! Photos courtesy Baker Creek & Totally Tomatoes.


Pepper ‘Serrano Tampequino’ 

Pepper Serrano Tampequino

36″ ht (75 days) – ($4.50) A hot chile perfect for salsas, it produces 2 ¼” fruit that matures to red. Photo courtesy Totally Tomatoes.


Pepper ‘Sweet Pickle’ 

Pepper Sweet Pickle

24″ ht (75 days) – ($4.50) This little darling bears UPRIGHT peppers (think bad hair day!) that are red, orange, purple, and yellow. They are 2” long and chunky and adorable….very sweet AND ornamental. Peter Piper for SURE would pick a peck of these pretties to pickle. After having tried this one for the first time in 2014 I think she is one of my most favorite peppers EVER! Crunchy, gorgeous, prolific and OUTSTANDING!!



Pepper ‘Topepo’

Picture Pepper Topepo (my pic)

Pepper Topepo

18″ ht (80 days?) – ($4.50) This is a pimento-type Italian Heirloom that produces copious amounts of blood red, juicy, sweet and crisp round peppers. Perfect for fresh eating or stuffed!


Pepper ‘Violet Sparkles’ 

Pepper Violet Sparkles #2

Pepper Violet Sparkles #1

24″ ht (75 days) – ($4.50) A sweet cutie that has small torpedo-shaped lavender fruits that have streaks of yellow; a Russian Heirloom that eventually ripens red and is crunchy and yummy. These are pictures of our first fruit in 2015…..she sure is delish (and gorgeous!), crisp and VERY few seeds; she will DEFINITELY always have a place in my garden!


Pepper ‘White Lakes Bell’

Pepper White Lakes Bell

24″ ht (70 days) – ($4.50) A Russian Heirloom that produces LOTS of pointed bells that start ivory colored and ripen to a screaming brilliant orange; an early producer and fantastic for our area!


Pepper ‘Wrinkled Old Man’ 

Pepper Wrinkled Old Man

(AKA Japanese Shishitou)

24″ ht (80 days) – ($4.50) This Japanese favorite produces 3” shiny light green peppers (and tons of them!) that are normally crisp and mild flavored, although once in a while one will have quite a spicy kick! Perfect for tempura, shish-kebabs, or fried. A great (and easy) suggestion is to fry them in olive oil until they are slightly charred, season them with sea salt and then eat all but the stem! I’m drooling now! Our photo.

Tomatoes | Peppers | Other Heirloom Veggies |  Lettuce | Herbs

Contrary Mary’s Plants and Designs
2735 Route 52
Minooka, IL 60447

(815) 521-9535