Sedona Sun Pepper Guide: Heat, Flavor, Uses

What are Sedona Sun peppers?

Sedona Sun peppers are a vibrant and eye-catching variety of ornamental pepper known for their stunning coloration. Unlike many ornamentals, these chilies are mild, ranging from no heat to a mere 1,000 Scoville heat units. Their small, cone-shaped fruits start off as a vivid purple color, then transition through shades of yellow and orange and finally red as they mature, creating a striking display of color on the plant. As an ornamental pepper, Sedona Sun peppers are often grown for their aesthetic appeal rather than culinary use, making them a popular choice for adding visual interest to gardens, patios, and indoor spaces.

The Sedona Sun pepper – showing off its beautiful shades of yellow and orange

Sedona Sun pepper fast facts

Scoville heat units (SHU)0 – 1,000
Median heat (SHU)500
Jalapeño reference point3+ times milder
SpeciesCapsicum Annuum
OriginUnited States
Size1/4 inch long, tapering to a point

How hot are Sedona Sun ornamental peppers?

Ornamental chilies are often grown to optimize their look, not their heat. So, many are surprisingly spicy, like the Black Pearl (10,000 to 30,000 SHU) and the Aurora pepper (30,000 to 50,000 SHU.) Not the Sedona Sun. This is one of the mildest ornamental chilies you’ll find, with a Scoville heat range from zero to one thousand Scoville heat units (SHU.) That’s, at minimum, three times milder than a jalapeño, with the chance for this chili to be no-heat, like a sweet bell pepper.

The Sedona Sun’s spiciness sits roughly around the heat of a banana pepper (0 to 500 SHU) with the ceiling of the mildest possible poblano (1,000 to 1,500 SHU.) Think of it like a mild simmering warmth that will tickle the tongue. 

What do they look like?

The name of this chili certainly fits its look. The Sedona Sun is a small pepper, roughly a quarter inch long, tapering to a point. They are tiny, but the chilies tend to cluster on the plant and the colors you experience are warm and vibrant. Similar to a Sedona sunset, it’s a multicolor display happening on the plant at any given time. The colors you’ll experience start with shades of purple, aging to golden yellow and orange, and finally maturing to red.

It’s a calming color palette, not overly bright or jewel-toned and certainly not dark. For those looking for edible landscaping with a relaxing warmth, few are better than Sedona Sun chilies.

What do they taste like?

Ornamental peppers are also not known for their flavor depth as they are chosen and grown for their looks. The flavor comes second. Most have a simple neutral “peppery” flavor. The Sedona Sun is similar, but there’s some sweetness here too, particularly as they mature to their final red hue. It’s surprisingly tasty. Not complex, but certainly not “neutral.”

Note: You may also taste an underlying bitterness, particularly among the younger fruits. To limit that bitterness, pick the fruits at maturity for use.

–> Learn More: Can You Eat Ornamental Peppers?

How can you use them?

Outside of landscaping (they work well in both gardens and small containers for patios and balconies), the Sedona Sun can be used in everyday cooking. Chop it for use in salsas, salads sandwiches, and more. Their mild simmering warmth is very family-friendly (again, think banana pepper), so it can work with many recipes and use cases. 

These chilies also dry relatively well. Drying and crushing into crushed red pepper (or a powder) is an excellent way to use up a crop near the end of the season. And the sweetness here make these chilies a good candidate for pickling (and that can mask any lingering bitterness.)

Where can you buy Sedona Sun peppers?

As these are ornamental chilies, you won’t find them at your local grocer. Your best bet will be your local gardening centers, but call in advance to see if they stock the plants or seeds. Check local chili farms and farmers’ markets as well. You can also buy Sedona Sun pepper seeds easily online. 

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UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on November 14, 2023 to include new content.
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