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Sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) is a major vegetable for producers in the US Virgin Islands and is grown for fresh market. Challenges in sweet pepper productions in the US Virgin Islands are high cost of labor and management, limited water resources, weeds, diseases and pests, limited land and natural disasters. This study was conducted at the horticultural field plots of the University of the Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment Station in growing seasons of 2011-2012. The objective of the research was to conduct field evaluations of sweet pepper cultivars that are suitable to grow in the local soil and climate of the islands. Thirteen cultivars, 'Aristotle', 'California Wonder', 'Declaration', 'Dulce', 'Intruder', 'Jupiter', 'Mecate', 'Naples', 'Sweet Cherry', 'Sweet Banana', 'Sweet Savannah', 'White King', and 'Vanguard' were tested in the field. Cultivars selected with the traditional lobe or bell shape fruits as well as longer, pointed shape known as banana peppers. Specialty 'colored' peppers, orange, yellow and red were also tested. Transplants of all the pepper cultivars were planted into rows four feet apart. Spacing in plants was one foot within the row. The trial was laid out by using a randomized complete block design with three replications. 'White King' was the early maturity cultivar (65 days) and produced the highest total marketable yield (33.4 oz/plant). 'Aristotle' produced biggest fruit (5.8 oz). 'Intruder' fruits were smallest (1.1 oz.) and maturity of 76 days. ' Sweet Cherry' produced smallest fruit (0.48 oz.) and lowest yield (8.7 oz/plant) expected from the cherry type. Fruits were graded by size and condition. No serious pests and diseases were observed in the crop. All thirteen cultivars set fruits during the season and were rated good or excellent in disease tolerance, yield, taste and adaptability. Frequent rainfall during the growing period affected quality production at some extent. This paper presents results on plant growth, marketable yield, marketable fruit weight and maturity of thirteen cultivars of sweet pepper.


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