Jalapenos are popular peppers known for their spiciness. Originally from Mexico, jalapenos usually grow two to four inches long.
When shopping for jalapenos, you may notice there are different flavors, levels of spiciness, and colors.
Some have a mild flavor, while others are very hot. You’ll see red, yellow, green, and even purple jalapenos.
Our detailed guide explores twenty-one of the most common jalapenos, their colors, and their flavor profile.
Table of Contents
The Early jalapeno produces three-inch pods and takes about sixty days to reach maturity, which is twenty days faster than most other varieties.
The Early jalapeno can survive in cold weather.
These jalapenos are medium hot, with a rating of 2,500-5,000 Scoville Heat Units, or SHU.
Despite its red color, the Early jalapeno is sweet. You can harvest it when it’s green or wait for it to turn red.
Its texture and taste are similar to that of a standard jalapeno.
2. Numex Pinata
The Numex Pinata is one of the hottest jalapeno varieties, reaching 50,000 SHU.
These jalapenos are initially green and turn yellow and orange before finally ripening to red. Harvesting them when they are green or yellow gives you milder heat.
Numex Pinata jalapenos take about seventy-five days to mature, but you can harvest them at any stage. The plants are compact and produce a lot of fruit.
3. Orange Jalapeno
Orange jalapenos have a fruity flavor and low capsicum content. This variety has a citrusy and almost sweet flavor.
Though this variety is orange at peak maturity, these jalapenos later turn red and become sweeter.
Orange jalapenos have a Scoville rating of 2,000-5,000 SHU.
4. Black Jalapeno
Black jalapenos have a distinct appearance and are common in most grocery stores.
These jalapenos turn black on the side that receives the most sun. Later, they turn red, like most other jalapeno varieties.
They have a rating of 2,500-10,000 SHU, and they’re sweeter and juicier than green jalapenos.
A black jalapeno can grow up to three and a half inches long. You can grow this variety in a container.
The TAM jalapeno is a great variety if you’re looking for jalapeno flavor without the heat.
This jalapeno variety has a rating of 1,000-3,500 SHU. TAM jalapenos can grow up to four inches long, and you can harvest them when they’re red or green.
Growing TAM jalapenos is also easy, as this variety is hardy and resistant to diseases.
6. Billy Biker
The Billy Biker jalapeno is one of the hottest jalapenos, with a rating of 30,000 SHU. This is similar to the Cayenne pepper’s heat.
The jalapeno grows up to three and a half inches long. Besides their heat, Billy Biker jalapenos are known for their unique flavor.
7. Mucho Nacho
Mucho Nacho jalapenos are another hot variety, with a rating of 4,000-8,000 SHU.
The Mucho Nacho Jalapeno grows to four inches and is fatter than ordinary peppers.
These jalapenos are first green and then turn red when mature. Both colors can be spicy.
8. Lemon Spice
The Lemon Spice jalapeno is a yellow variety developed by New Mexico State University.
It starts off green before turning yellow and then red when fully mature.
Lemon Spice jalapenos have a hot, fruity taste. They are also larger compared to other jalapeno varieties, which makes them excellent for stuffing and salsa.
9. Yellow Jalapeno
The Yellow jalapeno is a creation of the Texas Agriculture Extension Service. These jalapenos start off with a pale-yellow color before turning orange and then red.
You can harvest and use the yellow jalapeno at any stage. Yellow jalapenos have a heat rating of 2,500-10,000 SHU.
Their heat and flavor resemble a standard jalapeno, but with a fruity finish.
Yellow jalapenos are great for pickling as well as using with salads, salsas, and nachos. This variety is resistant to many diseases that affect peppers.
10. Purple Jalapeno
Purple jalapenos have purple flowers and black leaves.
These peppers start green and then turn purple before maturing and turning red. They have a Scoville rating of 5,000-8,000.
You can eat these jalapenos in any stage of development. However, they get even hotter and more flavorful as they mature and become red.
Purple jalapenos have thick walls with a crisp bite, which makes them great for sandwiches and salads.
The Jalafuego/Fuego jalapenos (which translates to “fire” in Spanish) have a rating of 4,000-8,000 SHU.
They grow an average of six inches long, twice as long as regular peppers.
12. Craig’s Grande Jalapeno
Craig’s Grande jalapenos are a thick variety that grows up to four inches long. They mature relatively quickly, at around seventy days.
These jalapenos have a classic flavor and are fat, making them great for eating raw, roasting, stuffing, drying, or pickling.
The medium-flavored jalapeno variety has a rating of 2,500-3,000 SHU.
Craig’s Grande also has a high yield and can produce multiple peppers throughout the season.
Mammoth jalapenos are one of the largest jalapeno varieties, growing up to five inches long.
Despite their size, Mammoth jalapenos are only mildly spicy, with a rating of 1,000-5,000 SHU.
14. Chichimeca Jalapenos
Chichimeca jalapenos are a mild variety of jalapenos, but they are some of the largest.
They have a rating of 3,000-8,000 SHU and have a lot of flavor.
15. Chilipeno Hybrids
Chilipeno Hybrids don’t have any natural spice, like most mild jalapenos. They have a rating of 2,000-3,000 SHU and are red when ripe.
Chilipenos can grow up to four and a half inches long. They are drought-resistant and can survive for a short time in cold weather.
16. The Traveler
The Traveler grows up to three inches long in close to seventy days. Traveler jalapenos have a rating of 2,500-8,000 SHU.
17. Jalapa Hybrid
Jalapa Hybrid jalapenos are another hot variety with a rating of 10,000 SHU, similar to a serrano pepper.
These jalapenos mature early, and you can harvest them in seventy days.
Firenza jalapenos start off green before maturing to a brilliant red color. These jalapenos grow up to three and a half inches long and are rated 3,000-8,000 SHU.
19. Mitla Hybrid
Mitla Hybrid jalapenos start green and are red when mature, like most jalapeno varieties. The medium-hot type grows up to three inches long.
They produce high yields compared to most varieties. Mitla Hybrid jalapenos are used commercially since they are large and uniform.
Mitla jalapenos are a milder variety, with a rating of 4,000-6,000 SHU.
Jedi jalapenos are famous for their flavor and thick walls. Unlike most jalapenos that have cracks on their skin, the Jedi variety is smooth and dark green.
The plant produces large fruits, ideal for home and market growers.
These jalapenos mature in seventy-two days and can reach four and a half inches long. Jedis have a rating of 2,500-3,600 SHU.
21. Emerald Fire
Emerald Fire jalapenos are famous for their superb flavor, uniform fruits, and mild heat.
This variety matures in ninety days and can grow up to four inches long.
Thanks to their thick flesh, Emerald Fire jalapenos are great for stuffing, grilling, and pickling.
Jalapenos are delicious, easy to grow, and come in different varieties. You can use them for pickling, stuffing, or making salads and sandwiches.
Use our list above to find the best variety for you.