Roatan Pumpkin Habanero: One of the Hottest Habaneros

roatan pumpkin habanero
Roatan pumpkin habaneros are one of the hottest habanero peppers at 100,000-500,000 SHUs. They are known for their heat, rich fruity flavor, prolificacy, and unique pumpkin appearance.

What Are Roatan Pumpkin Habanero Peppers?

Roatan pumpkin habaneros are rare peppers in the Capsicum chinense species named for the Roatan Island off the coast of Honduras, where they are found. They are believed to be a cross between habaneros and scotch bonnet peppers. 

The peppers get the pumpkin moniker because they look like pumpkins—a unique appearance, even though there are other pumpkin-shaped peppers in Capsicum baccatumCapsicum pubescens, and Capsicum annuum species.

Roatan pumpkin habanero peppers or chilis are also called habanero Roatan pumpkin peppers.

You can identify the peppers by their unique pumpkin look, size, and texture.

roatan pumpkin habanero
Roatan pumpkin habanero.


Roatan pumpkin habanero chilis come from Roatan, a Western Caribbean island in Honduras.


Roatan pumpkin habaneros ripen to dark orange at full maturity from a light green color.

Shape And Size

Roatan pumpkin habaneros have this moniker because of their characteristic pumpkin shape. They are large, measuring up to three inches long, rounded, corrugated, and conical. Some are more elongated and have rounded tips.


The round pumpkin-like pods of Roatan pumpkin habaneros are uniquely corrugated or ribbed. Different pods have varying shapes, sizes, and rib patterns. The skin is wrinkled but glossy.


Like the typical habanero, Roatan pumpkin habaneros have a rich, fruity flavor. This fruity taste is enhanced by the peppers’ sweetness and citrusy undertones, making them the perfect pairing for tropical Caribbean dishes.

How Hot Are Roatan Pumpkin Habaneros?

Roatan pumpkin habaneros strike 100,000-500,000 Scoville Heat Units on the Scoville Scale. They are much hotter than jalapenos, which score 2,500-8,000 SHUs.

However, Roatan habanero peppers are far milder than the world’s hottest pepper—the Carolina reaper, which scores 1,400,000 to over 2,000,000 SHUs.

Is Roatan Pumpkin Habanero Hotter Than Regular Habaneros?

The Roatan pumpkin habanero is hotter than the regular habanero. Of all 18 habanero peppers, orange habaneros are the most common and thus usually referred to as the typical or regular habaneros.

The least hot Roatan pumpkin habanero will have the same spiciness as the least hot orange habanero. The hottest Roatan pumpkin habanero scores 500,000 SHUs—which is 150,000 SHUs more than the hottest orange habanero.

What Is The Spiciest Habanero Pepper?

With an upper limit of 577,000 SHUs, chocolate habaneros and red savina habaneros are the spiciest habanero peppers. 

Red savinas even hold the longest record a pepper ever stayed as the world’s hottest. They had this record from 1994 to February 2007 when they were unseated by the ghost pepper (bhut jolokia), which scores over 1,000,000 units.

For context, regular habaneros score 100,000-350,000 SHUs, while the Caribbean red habanero strikes 300,000-500,000 Scoville units.

How To Use Roatan Pumpkin Habanero In Cooking

Roatan pumpkin habanero peppers have the same common uses as other hot peppers. You can use them to spice stews, soups, and other cooked meals.

When fresh, habanero Roatan pumpkin peppers are ideal for fruit-based hot sauces and extra-spicy salsas. You can chop or slice the peppers into fresh, fruity salsas and hot sauces.

Roatan pumpkin habaneros pods are ideal for drying, after which you can grind them into hot chili pepper powder.

mango habanero salsa
Mango habanero salsa.

Where To Buy Roatan Pumpkin Habanero Chilis

Since they are rare, Roatan pumpkin habanero peppers are hard to find outside their native home in the Caribbean. You can try your luck at local chili farms or online outlets like Amazon for dried chilis.

Can You Grow Roatan Pumpkin Habanero Peppers?

Your best bet for cooking with Roatan pumpkin peppers is to grow your own in a greenhouse or garden.

Roatan pumpkin habanero seeds are available online on Amazon and other seed retailers. You’ll need to start the seeds indoors by soaking them in lukewarm water for a few days before you sow them in moist soil.

Germination takes 8-21 days. Once the seedlings are ready, plant them outside about 2-3 weeks after the last frost.

You can plant the pepper seedlings in containers, but these should have a capacity of at least two gallons (7.5 liters) because Roatan pumpkin habanero pepper plants grow to about 3-4 feet tall.

Regardless of where you plant the seedlings, ensure they are in fresh, fertile, and well-draining soil. Allow at least six hours of sun daily. The plants thrive in warm or hot climates but require partial shade on very hot summer days.

It will take 90-100 days for your Roatan pumpkin habaneros to mature fully to a dark orange color. The plants are prolific, and you might have to stake them to prevent plant and fruit damage.

Substitutes For Roatan Pumpkin Habanero Peppers

If you can’t find the rare Roatan pumpkin habanero, you can substitute it with other habanero peppers for the same fruity flavor profile but with varying heat levels.

  • Chocolate habanero: up to 425,000-577,000 SHUs.
  • Orange habanero: 100,000-350,000 SHUs,
  • Red savina habanero: 350,000-577,000 SHUs.
  • Caribbean red habanero: 300,000-500,000 SHUs.

Scotch bonnet peppers make a good substitute for Roatan pumpkin habanero peppers. They match the fruity taste but are slightly milder at 100,000-350,000 Scoville Heat Units.


Peppers have become the meeting point for three of Alex's greatest passions—gardening, cooking and writing. He is happiest watching small plants grow big and heavy with produce, and he can't wait to harvest self-grown fresh produce for his kitchen. When he is not taking care of his pepper plants, you'll find him busy cooking and sampling different peppers as he seeks the next hotter pepper.

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