Capsicum caballeroi M.Nee, Brittonia 58 (4): 323. 2006.

Barboza, Gloria E., Garcia, Carolina Carrizo, Bianchetti, Luciano de Bem, Romero, Maria V. & Scaldaferro, Marisel, 2022, Monograph of wild and cultivated chili peppers (Capsicum L., Solanaceae), PhytoKeys 200, pp. 1-423 : 1

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Capsicum caballeroi M.Nee, Brittonia 58 (4): 323. 2006.


5. Capsicum caballeroi M.Nee, Brittonia 58 (4): 323. 2006.

Figs 35 View Figure 35 , 36 View Figure 36


Bolivia. Santa Cruz. Prov. Caballero: Parque Nacional Amboró, Cerro Bravo , 10 km al N de Comarapa, 17°49.5'S, 64°32.5'W, 2400-2500 m elev., 7-10 Apr 1994, I. Vargas C. & J.M. Camacho 3118 (holotype: USZ; isotypes: CORD [CORD00003917], MO [MO-1921597, acc. # 5959888], NY [00745836], GoogleMaps US [00902045, acc. # 3520370]).


Erect shrubs or more rarely small trees 0.70-5 (-7) m tall, with the main stem thick, 2.5-3 cm in diameter at base, few to much branched above. Young stems angled, rigid, green, glabrous to sparsely pubescent, with appressed-antrorse, simple, uniseriate, 3-4-celled, eglandular trichomes 0.07-0.2 mm long; nodes solid, green; bark of older stems brown or brownish-grey, glabrous; lenticels few, light brown. Sympodial units difoliate, the leaves geminate; leaf pair unequal in size, similar or dissimilar in shape. Leaves coriaceous, slightly discolorous, glabrous on both sides or sparsely pubescent along the mid-vein abaxially, with simple, eglandular trichomes 0.2-0.4 mm long; blades of major leaves 4-13.5 cm long, 1.5-4 cm wide, elliptic, the major veins 4-5 on each side of mid-vein, the base acute to short-attenuate, the margins entire slightly revolute, the apex acuminate; petioles 0.2-0.8 cm long, glabrous; blades of minor leaves 2-4.5 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, elliptic or ovate, major veins 2-3 on each side of mid-vein, the base short-attenuate, the margin entire slightly revolute, the apex acute; petioles 0.3-0.5 cm long, glabrous. Inflorescences axillary, 1-2 flowers per axil; flowering pedicels 20-40 (-50) mm long, terete, slightly pendent to pendent, non-geniculate at anthesis, green, glabrous; pedicels scars inconspicuous. Buds ellipsoid, yellow. Flowers 5-merous. Calyx 1.5-3 mm long, ca. 3 mm wide, cup-shaped, thick, pale green, sparsely pubescent with the same antrorse eglandular trichomes of the young stems, the calyx appendages 10, unequal, the five main appendages 1-3.2 mm long, the five secondary appendages 0.8-2 mm long, erect, subulate, inserted close to the margin. Corolla (10-) 11-14 (-18) mm long, 4-6 mm in diameter, thick, entirely pure yellow or lemon-yellow, campanulate without interpetalar membrane, shallowly 5-lobed; glabrous adaxially and abaxially, the tube 7-10 mm long, the lobes 3-4 mm long, ca. 2 mm wide, narrowly triangular, recurved, the margins involute and finely ciliate, the tips deeply acute, papillate. Stamens five, equal; filaments 4-6 mm long, cream, inserted on the corolla 1-2 mm from the base, with auricles fused to the corolla at the point of insertion; anthers 2-3 mm long, ellipsoid, yellow, not connivent at anthesis. Gynoecium with ovary ca. 2 mm long, 1.5 mm in diameter, pale green, ovoid; ovules more than two per locule; nectary ca. 0.4-0.5 mm tall; styles homomorphic, 7-9 mm, scarcely exserted beyond the anthers, cream, clavate; stigma ca. 1 mm in diameter, whitish, capitate. Berry (9-) 10-16 mm in diameter, globose, slightly flattened at the apex, pale green or white when immature, bright red at maturity, persistent, pungent, the pericarp thick, opaque, with giant cells (endocarp alveolate); stone cells absent; fruiting pedicels 25-50 mm long, pendent, curved, terete, strongly widened distally and with a constriction at the junction with the calyx, green; fruiting calyx 3-5 mm in diameter, persistent, not accrescent, discoid, green, the appendages (1-) 3-5 mm long, appressed to the berry. Seeds 5-21 per fruit, 3-4 (-5) mm long, 3.8-5 mm wide, C-shaped or teardrop-shaped, pale yellow or nearly white, the seed coat smooth and reticulate at margins (SM), cerebelloid-reticulate (SEM), the cells irregular and polygonal in shape, the lateral walls strongly sinuate to nearly straight at the seed margin; embryo imbricate or coiled.


Capsicum caballeroi is an endemic species from central Bolivia (Santa Cruz, Cochabamba and Chuquisaca Departments, Fig. 32 View Figure 32 ).


Capsicum caballeroi is a rare element of montane cloud forests (Yungas and Bosque Tucumano-Boliviano Montano), found in very moist shaded wooded quebradas or at the margin of the forest between 1,000 and 2,600 m elevation.


Flowering and fruiting probably all year long; a peak of flowering was observed in November to early January and fruiting from January to June.

Chromosome number.

2 n = 2x = 24 (Barboza et al. 3655, see Table 2 View Table 2 ).

Common names.

Bolivia. Aribibi (Cochabamba, Fernández T. et al. 2007), Ají de monte (Santa Cruz, Vargas C. & Prado 1282), Ulupica de yunga (Santa Cruz, Vargas C. et al. 1343).


None recorded.

Preliminary conservation assessment.

EOO (14,005.388 km2); AOO (84 km2). Capsicum caballeroi grows mostly in the cloud forest of the Amboró National Park and peripheral areas where the population consists of few individuals; although found in a relatively large geographical area, we observed a severe decline of both the EOO and the AOO of this species due to the continuing indiscriminate deforestation occurring in the last years; in this way, we consider C. caballeroi under threat and assign the Vulnerable category (VU; B1ab(ii,iii)).


Capsicum caballeroi belongs to the Bolivian clade ( Carrizo García et al. 2016; Barboza et al. 2019). It is easily distinguishable from any other Bolivian species in its calyx with 10 unequal appendages, its yellow tubular-campanulate pendent corollas, its long flowering and fruiting pedicels and its large, bright red fruits and pale seeds (Fig. 36D, I View Figure 36 ).

Capsicum caballeroi is morphologically most similar to C. piuranum , an endemic species from northern Peru and can be distinguished from that species in its calyx (green calyx with 10 unequal linear appendages vs. purple or greenish-purple calyx with five equal subulate appendages), its corolla lobes (recurved vs. spreading) and its fruits and seeds (red pungent fruits with pale yellow or nearly white seeds vs. orange to red non-pungent fruits with dark brown to black seeds). The fruits and the seeds of C. caballeroi are larger than those of C. piuranum . Capsicum caballeroi is sympatric with C. minutiflorum ; they share yellow corollas and red fruits, but are distinguished by the coriaceous leaves, calyx with 10 unequal appendages, campanulate and larger corollas (10-14 mm long) and fruits (9-16 mm in diameter) of C. caballeroi vs. the membranous leaves, calyx with five equal or subequal appendages, stellate, smaller corollas (6.5-8.5 mm long) and fruits (7-10 mm in diameter) of C. minutiflorum (Fig. 87 View Figure 87 ).

Specimens examined.

See Suppl. material 4: Appendix 4.