Are there male and female peppers?

Various colored bell peppers in baskets.
Photo credit: Betsy Hartley
Q:

Is this true or is it a myth? Male peppers have 3 bumps and female peppers have 4 bumps. Female peppers are full of seeds but are sweeter and better for eating raw. Males are better for cooking?

- Marion County, Oregon
A:

This is a garden myth. By definition, all pepper fruits are ripened ovaries containing seeds formed after pollination. Those seeds will then form new pepper plants. The bumps or lack thereof are primarily related to the variety and growing conditions. Sweetness is usually a factor of ripeness. Thus red bell peppers are sweeter than green.

Pat Patterson
Master Gardener Volunteer
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