Pepper – Fused Fruit

Q: I planted three banana pepper plants (grown from seeds) this spring. While harvesting the remaining peppers from the one surviving plant a couple of days ago, I found this little oddity. I found it so unusual, I thought I would share it.

A: Awesome pictures!

Dr. Joe Kemble at Auburn University says:

When it comes to fruit development – from pollution, to fertilization and to eventual fruit development — there are a lot of things that can go awry.

The environment is usually the causal agent. Plants can suffer from quick changes in the environment that are of a short duration — a short summer rainstorm, high winds, cool temps following a warm day, wide variations in day and night temperatures, etc.

Environmental stresses can affect areas of the plant with rapid cell division and cell elongation. I think that’s what caused these fused pepper fruits. he reproductive parts of the plants are especially susceptible to environmentally caused problems. Cell division slows due to low temps or immature flowers that are being formed are damaged mechanically by being subjected to driving winds and rains.

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