Most sources state that the birdseye is Capsicum frutescens, making
it a relative of the tabasco chile. Depending on growing conditions,
the plants range in height from one and a half to four feet tall,
and are usually very bushy. The leaves vary in length from 1 � to 3
inches and in width from � inch to 1 inch. The fruits generally
measure between 1/2 and 1 inch long and taper to a blunt point.
Immature pod color is green, mature The plants are perennial and
sometimes produce for three years before they are plowed under.
Growing birdseye chiles is very labor-intensive and they require
hand-picking. The pods are picked when they are bright red and 2 or
less centimeters (3/4 inch) long. A single plant yields about 300
grams (2/3 pound) of fresh Culinary Usage
Take care in using African birdseye chiles in the kitchen because of
the extreme pungency of the pods. You would not, for example, want
to make a hot sauce out of a cup of the pods and some vinegar.
However, they can be used in marinades, as the following recipe
pods.color is bright red.