Name: Capsicum baccatum Mad Hatter F1 hybrid pepper.
Type of Plant: A very productive pepper plant with a unique shaped fruit. This pepper was chosen as an All-American Selection for 2017 and with good reason.
Why I love this plant: The All-American Selections people sent me seeds for this plant and I started about four of them for my vegetable garden this year. Wow, was I impressed! The large plants grew to almost three feet high for me, and they have produced many lovely and delicious peppers from August on.
Full disclosure: this wasn’t a great pepper growing year in my area. The nights were cool and August was more like October should be in terms of cool and damp conditions. So if a pepper plant did well in this summer, I can only expect that it will be fantastic in growing seasons to come.
These peppers have an odd shape and aren’t very large. This makes the plant extremely ornamental and worth growing for this alone. But the fruit is sweet and delicious. They are great chopped in salads, as well as used in cooking. My favorite way to prepare them, however, was to toss the pieces with olive oil and roast them in the oven. Done this way they are like a combination between sundried tomatoes and peppers.
A Word to the Wise: These plants are tall and kind of rangy, which makes them very ornamental but not too sturdy. I didn’t stake mine this year but you can be sure that I’ll supply attractive supports in the years to come since the fruit is so attractive it will be even more ornamental when staked.
These would make great peppers to grow in a container since they are not only ornamental but very productive as well. As of this writing on November 3rd, I’m still harvesting these peppers!
Can we harvest them while in their green/yellow state? Or is is better to wait until they turn red?
They are most flavorful, and vitamin packed, when red.
I grew one plant in a container this year. here in Tauranga, NZ. It was doing very well and had many fruit in varying degrees of ripening when they all started to shrivel and go soft. Initially I thought it needed more water but giving extra made no difference. Very disappointing. We had a super summer and all other capsicums and chillis did exceptionally well.
Of course it’s impossible for me to know why your Mad Hatter didn’t do well, but you might give it another try. I’ve planted them for 3 years now and they have been both productive and amusing! This year I’m tempted to plant them in the flower garden….
These are new to me and I’m excited to try them. Green now but can’t wait for them to turn. I will Share with my friend from Peru!,
This is just a renamed Bishop’s Crown. Not a hybrid. This entire pepper is a marketing scam. The Bishop’s Crown (or Ubatuba where it’s from) is an old South American pepper, no F1. Such baloney.
No need to be so cranky, Brendan. And yes, this one is a hybrid. But it’s related to that South American pepper for sure. The AAS website lists it this way:
Winner Type: National
Variety Name: Mad Hatter F1
Common Name: Bishops crown pepper
Type: Edible – Vegetable
Breeder: PanAmerican Seed
Close Market Comparison: Balloon, Bishops Crown
They are not the same pepper, the MADD Hatter is sweet the Bishops Crown very hot.
Some of my Mad Hatters are spicy but not very hot.
We planted mad hatter peppers this year simply because I was amused by their shape when choosing things for our garden. 3 peppers bloomed out fairly early but are still yellowish in color, 3 others are still quite small and green. Weve pulled many bells and banana peppers already. Do these normally take several weeks to turn?
Also, excited to try these in a recipe, but I’ve never cared for straight peppers. Any ideas?
Aimee – the seed packet lists Mad Hatter as 65 days to harvest so you can count backwards…but in my garden it definitely didn’t “take off” until late summer and I picked the most peppers in September. They do turn red as they ripen, so hang in there!
These are much different than the Bishops Crown. The bottom is inverted (points inward) whereas the Bishops Crown points outward.
It’s an F1 and different from the Bishop’s Crown. Simply Google some images of them.
I have about 36 peppers in various stages of growth on the 1 plant I put in.
I’m going to try putting them in my cookies this year.
Why not? Put them in cookies, cake and tacos. I mince my peppers, saute in olive oil an then freeze them in tablespoon sized lumps on waxed paper. Once frozen I put the lumps into a plastic bag to freeze.
The roasting recipe worked great.
Thanks to a neighbors suggestion after I gave them a big batch of my crop, used them in a recipe for Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Sauce. The recipe is from a site called Salt & Lavender. Came out great. Give it a try
Is there a way to post pictures on this site?
No way to post photos here I think. But I’m glad to hear you have a good crop and used them in this recipe!
I grew them for the 1st time this year. They are sweet, like bell peppers, and kind of lemony. I filled them with hummus, or tuna…delicious!!!
I love the tuna idea!
can i use these for a Mexican soup????
Yes, but they are not spicy.
I have grown them for 3 years. We live in Arizona and i was fortunate that 3 of the plants lasted over winter last year.
First year plants were 3 -4 feet tall and loaded with peppers. We eat them at all stages, green, yellow, orange (yes some of mine were orange before going completely red)
The second year they grew from 4-6 feet high and again lots of peppers.. We could not keep up with the production.
We eat them raw, roast them, put in everything, Very mild and only a very few showed heat.
One note I did grow Bishop crown along side of these and they definitely had a different shape and those did get extremley hot when left to ripen…
I highly recommend these to any one growing peppers in Arizona. Mine have done very well (they had partial shade from a tree at hottest time of day)
I grew this pepper in my garden in 2019 here in SE Georgia near an orange tree here in SE Georgia, borderline between Zone 8b / 9A.. It grew huge, had the best tasting peppers of all my peppers for fresh eating but was slow to produce. But here is the pleasant surprise. Both plants survived the winter (seasonal low 26F this year). The only other pepper plant to ever do that for me was a Dragon Cyan. I transplanted them to a sunnier location in the hopes that they will be more productive this year. Only one survived being transplanted, but it is growing vigorously. Hopefully it will make peppers much earlier this year than last year. But yes, to your original post. By pepper standards it’s quite tolerant to cold weather. The open question is can it take Georgia summer heat in full sun given its tolerance for cold. We shall see in a couple of months.
Mine are still on the vine, moving from green to orange. (Aug 13 in Toronto) Very prolific and doing very well in pots.
I grow all kinds of peppers in the okanagan valley of BC. Mad hatters tend to ripen after August, but produce extremely well with many peppers in September and
October. Picking green ones before frost, the have all turned red. We mix with jalapeños for excellent pickles. Stay nice and crunchy. Of course we use them in salads and stews as well. A fun pepper to grow.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Andreas!
I saw these on sale with other peppers in May when I was selecting veggies for my garden. I had never heard of them but the name got me! Here it is July 2nd, 2021, and the plant is full of different sizes of peppers. I didn’t realize that I should wait for them to turn red so I have now harvested a green one, one of the many. I can’t wait to try in salads or roasted! Thanks for your information!
I planted 15 of these plants this year and now have 3 dozen of ripe Hatters each week. Have roasted them and they are great, but I came up with a another way to use these: Roasted Mad Hatter popper appetizers.
I use roasted Jalapeno pieces(postage stamp size or smaller), roasted garlic chunks(1/2 sugar cube size) and softened string cheese pieces. I first pumpkin the Hatters like you would cut the stem off a pumpkin for carving(larger peppers work better). Use a small tool to scrape the gills and seed pod out. Tapping on the bottom upside down pepper with spoon will help knock out the loose seeds. Place a piece of roasted Jalapeno(or a pepper heat of your choice) inside along with a piece of sautéed garlic chunk inside. I use olive oil to sauté the garlic chunks, don’t burn them. Place a very small(1/4 tsp) amount of the olive oil left over into the pod to add even more flavor. Cut string cheese into thirds length wise. Soften them in microwave to make them the consistency of dough. Carefully stuff the cheese into the pods until full. Be careful not to split the sides. Yes, your hand will get very oily. Arrange on a foil lined cookie sheet clustered together to keep them upright. Drizzle, don’t flood some of that leftover oil olive onto the tops. Roast them until the peppers/cheese are slightly browned. Similar to Gardenlady’s photo on the roasted ones. I use convention roast for about 30-35 minutes @350F. Let them cool before trying as they will be very hot(temp) for a while. Adjust as necessary to fit your needs or tastes.
Thank you Gardenlady for introducing me to these wonderful peppers!
This sounds fantastic! I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.
A weird old friend of mine gave me some plants he got for free and I planted them June 8 here in the midwest.. He didn’t know what they were, but I knew they were not beanz as he guessed. Now I have dozens of these hatters all about 2 inch and all green. My wife, Julie, and I leave for San Diego in a week. My neighbor, Fred, tried one and liked it saying it tasted like a banana pepper. We return on Oct 12. Should I simply wait and hope we don’t freeze?
Yes – let them stay and hope that there isn’t a freeze. These are SO much better when they are red and ripe. Secondly, you’re not depending on these for your winter survival, so why not be optimistic and assume that there won’t be a frost?
If you save the mad hatter f1 variety seeds, are they viable?
Lee – an F1 hybrid is from two different parent plants. Normally the seeds from these hybrids produce plants with the characteristics of one of the parents, not of the cross. So you might get something that resembles the Mad Hatter, but you might get a different pepper all together. If you want the same Mad Hatter as you grew this year, buy new F1 hybrid seeds instead of saving the seeds.