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by Amanda McWhirt - January 19, 2021
You may have heard that female bell peppers have 4-5 lobes and are sweeter than male
bell peppers that only have 3 lobes, but is that true?
Answer: No. There is no such thing as a male or female pepper fruit!
Quick take: The myth goes like this: “male” bell peppers have three lobes (or bumps on the bottom
of the fruit) and are more bitter, while “female” bell peppers have four to five lobes,
have more seeds, and are sweeter tasting.
Plants don’t always follow human norms of separate male and female individuals. Most
vegetable plants have both male (pollen producing) and female (ovary) parts within
the same flower on a plant. After pollination (which is when pollen is moved by wind,
bees or other action to the female parts of the flower) the ovary starts to enlarge
and develop into the fruit which contains the seeds (ovules).
In this image you can see both pepper flowers (circled in blue at the top) and very
early maturing pepper fruit (circled in red near the bottom).
This Photo by Downtowngal is licensed under CC BY-SA