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23 September 2013


Grown for centuries in Bolivia (Central South America), the Bolivian Rainbow chile is a stunningly beautiful plant. The peppers start out a brilliant purple and turn yellow to orange to red, with all stages of the pepper present on the plant at once, making it a bright and colorful addition to your garden or your home.

They can be grown indoors and will produce fruits continuously, year-round. When grown outside, they need a warm climate.

The peppers are small, about 1 inch, and cone-shaped, growing upright on the plant. They somewhat resemble Christmas lights because of their shape and their bright and differing colors. In addition, the foliage and blossoms are purple, making the plant even more unique.

The chiles are very hot, so use them cautiously, but they are delicious in salads or salsas, and can be dried or pickled.


  1. Hi,
    I was given these seeds from my brother. When I looked up the name of the chilli showed me pictures of one that had purple leaves. Does this plant have purple leaves?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Bec, these particular peppers start out purple and mature to more of a red color. The foliage can also be purple as well.

  2. Was just wondering why all my Bolivian rainbow chillies are all just red ? No other colours at all



    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      It’s hard to say, Mike. It could be that the peppers are all ripening at the same rate, could be a hybrid type of the plant, or may have been misidentified as Bolivian Rainbow. Hmmm. I haven’t read anywhere that this plant sometimes produces only red pods.

  3. Im from philippines. Where can i possibly get some seeds for sale so that i can grow them too. Love chilis soooo much.

  4. Interesting – this variety is sold as “Chinese 5-Colour Peppers” by a seed/plant company in my area. This is the first I’ve heard of them actually being Bolivian… But I’ve grown them in my garden for several years now, partly because the plants are so pretty, and partly because they’re really easy to grow and very prolific. They seem to practically thrive on neglect… Just add some compost to the soil, plant them in a sunny spot, and water now and then, and they will produce tons! Another thing that’s fun about them, in my experience, is that the heat level can vary significantly from one pepper to the next on the same plant. So you never quite know if you’re going to get something only slightly hotter than a jalapeƱo, or MUCH hotter!

    1. I have researched both Bolivian Railbow and Chinese 5 Color. It appears as though they are not the same thing. The Scoville rating and height of the two are quite different as listed.

      1. I’ve grown both and they are not the same. The NuMex varieties also have a similar look, but are different.

  5. Boliviana

    Bolivian peppers can be hot, mild, yellow one is used in many Bolivian dishes.
    Look for Bolivian cooking on line, there are plenty,, including Youtube.
    One of the best foods in the planet.

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