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Difference Between Jalapeno and Habanero Peppers

Jalapeno vs Habanero Peppers

Jalapeno and habanero are two famous varieties of chili peppers that are a staple in many dishes and cuisines.

Both jalapeno and habanero chili peppers are used in many spicy dishes, particularly Mexican and Yucatan cuisine. Both types of chili pepper are used in salsa, marinades, dips, sauces, and other food forms. They are also added to drinks to give them a little spice and a kick.
Habanero and jalapeno peppers are also readily available in the market. Supermarkets and other type of markets carry them as produce.

The jalapeno is a cultivar of Capsicum annum. In its immature form, the jalapeno has a light to dark green color. In its maturity, the jalapeno develops a red color. Jalapenos are usually eaten when they are unripe.

The habanero (Capsicum chinense) is also green in color when unripe and transforms into a variety of colors; red, bright yellow, or orange when ripe. There are also other color varieties like black, brown white, and pink.

The jalapeno is a medium sized chili pepper with an oblong, slender shape. The jalapeno gives a warm, burning sensation when consumed. On the other hand, the habanero chili pepper can be lantern-shaped, round, or oblong that brings an intensely hot feeling when eaten.

In terms of Scoville Heat Units, the jalapeno scores 2,500-8,000 Scoville Heat Units compared to the habanero’s 100,000–300,000 Scoville Heat Units. Overall, the habanero is the hottest variety of chili pepper. The Red Savina, one variety of habanero, is considered as the world’s hottest chili pepper with 580,000 Scoville Heat Units.

The Scoville Heat Units is a system of rating or measurement of a chili pepper’s capsaicin content and heat level. It was developed by an American named Wilbur Scoville. In this measurement, the higher the Scoville Heat Unit means that the pepper contains more heat and capsaicin.

The heat in the jalapeno and habanero chili peppers is caused by capsaicin, a chemical compound. Extreme care and wearing gloves are advisable when handling any kind of chili pepper, especially in the case of the habanero. The gloves act as protective barrier between the capsaicin and the skin because the chemical compound can cause a skin irritation. It is also advisable to refrain from touching the eyes when handling chili peppers (either jalapeno or habanero) because the capsaicin can also cause burning of the eyes, eye redness, and irritation.

“Habanero” literally means “from Havana” while “jalapeno” is named after Xalapa, Veracruz.
Mild to hot weather is an ideal weather to grow a jalapeno plant while the habanero plant thrives in extremely hot conditions. The jalapeno also requires constant watering during its development while the habanero only requires watering when it’s dry.


1.The habanero and the jalapeno are two varieties of chili peppers that are mainly used in many dishes and cuisines.
2.The jalapeno is a chili pepper that is slim and oblong-shaped. On the other hand, the habanero can exist in three shapes; lantern, oblong, and round.
3.Another point of difference is the chili pepper’s ripe color. Both the jalapeno and habanero are green when unripe. A ripe jalapeno becomes red while the habanero pepper changes into other colors apart from red. Habanero chili peppers can be in yellow, orange, black, brown, pink, and white.
4.The most distinctive difference between the habanero and jalapeno is the Scoville Heat Units. Scoville Heat Units are units to measure how hot or how much capsaicin a pepper contains. The jalapeno rates between 2,500–8,000 Scoville Heat Units. In contrast, the habanero scores 100,000–350,000 Scoville Heat Units ranking it as extremely hot. This makes the habanero a more intense and hotter chili pepper than the jalapeno.
5.Aside from heat, both chili peppers have different flavors. The jalapeno gives a sweet flavor while the habanero gives a floral and tangy flavor.

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1 Comment

  1. What is the difference in the leaves in early development, I believe that Lowes mixed up a habanero plant and and jalpeno plants.

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