64th Street Specialties
Gastronomy With A Flair
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Chile Cultivars of New Mexico State University Released from 1913 to 2008
One of a group of three cultivars that provide a source for making “mini-ristras” and chile wreaths (Bosland, 1992). Immature fruit color
is green, while mature fruit color is orange, red, and yellow for ‘NuMex Sunburst,’ ‘NuMex Sunflare,’ and ‘NuMex Sunglo,’ respectively.
They were developed at the request of New Mexico chile producers interested in producing mini-ristras. A mini-ristra is made of chiles that
are smaller than the usual New Mexican-type. The mini-ristra chiles are popular as tourist items because they are easier to transport than
traditional New Mexican-type ristras. They were derived by pedigree breeding from a seed source from India and were released in 1991.
Individual plants were self pollinated in the greenhouse for five generations, and then grown and evaluated in the field for two years. Dr.
Bosland selected for traits deemed essential for ristra use. These included, but were not limited to, mature fruit color, non-corkiness,
pointed tip, round shoulder, attached calyx, appropriate fruit length and width, and a compact plant habit. The fruits dry down on the
plant under the environmental conditions of southern New Mexico. The plants have an upright, semi-determinate and non-spreading growth
habit. The fruits are pendulate with an attached calyx. Leaves are sufficiently dense on the plant to prevent solar injury to the pods.
‘NuMex Sunglo,’ ‘NuMex Sunflare,’ and ‘NuMex Sunburst’ have pod lengths of 3.26, 2.87, and 2.78 inches, respectively, while pod widths are
0.54, 0.40, and 0.50 inches, respectively. The fruit sizes are in the range of the chile types known as de Arbol chiles. All three
cultivars are hot; however, the heat level has not been measured.