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Are There Male and Female Peppers and Does it Really Make a Difference in Taste?


There was a post on Facebook that totally had me going.  It said, “I never knew this! Flip the bell peppers over to check their gender. The ones with four bumps are female and those with three bumps are male. The female peppers… are full of seeds, but sweeter and better for eating raw and the males are better for cooking.”  I wanted to know if this was true!


red yellow green peppers
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

After some searching, I found that peppers have complete flowers, that is both male and female parts in the same flower.  According to, male and female fruit can only come from plant types that have separate male and female flowers, and with a few exceptions.

The number of lobes relates to the variety of pepper. Peppers can have anywhere from 2-5 different lobes. The 4 lobed ‘bell’ pepper is the most popular in the U.S.

So, bottom line is, if you’re searching for a male or female in the produce section of the grocery store, you’re probably looking for a date (not the fruit, dear) and not a pepper.

Mystery solved :)



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