These flowering plants produce an extraordinarily spicy fruit during the wet months. Called elf peppers for their long, tapered shape that resembles an elf's ear, the fruits are commonly used in Irelessan dishes. Most folk from places not within the Empire share disdain for the plant due to the overwhelmingly powerful heat that it imparts to rice, bread, or cheeses. The flavor is described by elven chefs as "mildly spicy, sitting light on the tongue, and far-reaching into the dish that it sits in." Most others refer to it as "a fireball of intense flavor that overwhelms the rest of your pot." It is the seed of this plant, though, that causes it to be grown across the world. Elf pepper seeds are commonly used in remedies for sinus congestion, headaches, and respiratory illness. Many people combine the ground seeds of the pepper alone into dishes, since the spicy nature of the plant's fruit does not extend to the seeds. This powder is often added to sachets, incense, and perfumes for its natural properties and ability to produce a temporary sensation of wakefulness.
Growth Rate & Stages
Once an elf pepper plant matures, it produces peppers at regular intervals when provided with enough water and sunlight. The peppers can be harvested for their seeds almost as soon as the fruits appear, but one must wait another two to three weeks if the fruit itself is desired.
Since the natural environment of the elf pepper is one of year-round warm and wet, it does not possess a cycle of hibernation. Folk who cultivate the elf pepper in rimward regions must replant their elf peppers yearly, since the plants suffer and die in the cold of those places.
The elf pepper is commonly grown in gardens across the world. It is in no danger.
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