I am excited about these peppers... We initially tried planting jalapeno peppers, but no matter how meticulous we were in caring for it, they ended up dying (we tried twice with the same results). We were gonna throw the remaining seeds away, but as a last ditch effort, hubby sprinkled them on the dirt where my tomatoes used to be. AND he also dumped a pack of habanero pepper seeds in the same pot.
Well lo and behold. After a few days, we saw several sprouts coming up, and within a few weeks, there were flowers! We didn't know what they were until we saw the fruit - it was the habaneros. We don't know why the jalapenos were duds - maybe it was a bad pack. But we are glad the habaneros took off like wildfire!
The pungency or heat factor of peppers are measured in Scoville units. Bird's eye Chili (siling labuyo) measures 100,000 - 225,000 Scoville units, while habanero peppers rate between 200,000 to 300,000. The hottest pepper, Trinidad Scorpion, is in the 900,000 range. Pure capsaicin (the substance that makes peppers hot) is about 16,000,000 Scoville units. So yes, habaneros are hot. A good rule (from Alton Brown) is that the smaller the pepper is, the hotter it is. And that is why you don't get any heat from bell peppers. However, that is RELATIVE. Don't go munching on peppers just because it doesn't look small to you.
Anyway, we are waiting for our peppers to ripen before we pick it. Technically, it is already edible, though it won't be as hot when you eat it while it is still green. I'm pretty sure it would turn a bright orange when it matures. I don't know what to do with it - the hottest I've ever ate was a jalapeno pepper (wrapped with bacon, nonetheless) and I almost choked and cried because my whole throat stung. What more this pepper? Oh well. Nachos, perhaps? :-)