Capsicum annuum is a species of the plant genus Capsicum native to southern North America and northern South America. This species is the most common and extensively cultivated of the five domesticated capsicums.
The species encompasses a wide variety of shapes and sizes of peppers, both mild and hot, such as bell peppers, jalapeños, New Mexico chile, and cayenne peppers. Cultivars descended from the wild American bird pepper are still found in warmer regions of the Americas. Although the species name annuum means “annual” (from the Latin annus "year"), the plant is not an annual but is frost tender. In the absence of winter frosts it can survive several seasons and grow into a large, shrubby perennial herb. The single flowers are an off-white (sometimes purplish) color while the stem is densely branched and up to 60 cm (24 in) tall. The fruit are berries that may be green, yellow, orange or red when ripe