Species Name: Capsicum annuum var annuum Linne

Color: Mirasol (fresh) - green to red to brownish red

Guajillo (dried) - reddish brown

Average Size: 3 to 5 inches long, 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches wide

Shape: Elongated, conical, tapering to a point

Description: This thin-skinned pepper can vary more than any other chile in looks, and therefore may be hard to recognize. Sometimes small, sometimes large, smooth or wrinkled, it is quite inconsistent. Some grow downwards (pendant) while others grow pointing up (erect).

Scoville Heat Units: 10,000 - 20,000

Substitute if Not Available: Serrano, jalapeno, Thai (mirasol); cascabel, New Mexico chile (guajillo)

Other Names: Miracielo (mirasol); cascabel, puya, pullia, travievso, trompa (guajillo)

Related Cultivars: "La Blanca 74", "Loreto 74", "Real Mirasol"

Most Commonly Grown In: Mexico, New Mexico

Interesting Facts: The guajillo chile is the most widely used pepper in Mexico. Its flavor is very distinctive and the vibrant hues of the peppers color the dishes they are used in. The guajillo is sometimes mistaken for a cascabel because of the rattling sound its seeds make when it's shaken. The cascabel is roundish though so the shape differentiates them. Even though "mirasol" means "looking at the sun", the fresh peppers usually grow pendant (pointing down). Go figure.

Most Common Uses: Table sauces (mirasol); sauces, soups, stews, chili, Mexican dishes (guajillo)