Marketman’s “Albino” Siling Labuyo


I have a nice big potted siling labuyo on our front terrace. I gave up trying to nurture in-ground siling labuyo in the city as they always tended to die during the rainy season… now, with the potted version, I can move it out of the rain if necessary. I searched high and low for a “real” or more native siling labuyo seedling and was rather successful at getting it to grow into its current 5 foot high bushy specimen. It is, oddly timed, also fruiting like crazy, despite the rainy weather… in fact, it is acting rather weird. But on a walk about the house and garden this afternoon to try and get rid of the viruses attacking my body, I gave the siling labuyo bush a close inspection…and I noticed at least three dozen white or albino chillies all over the plant, with only two fruits having the slightest tinge of red in them… I harvested most of the fruit and took photos of some of them…


I don’t understand why mine are bizarrely white… it must have something to do with the mineral content, or lack of it, in the soil in the pot that it is growing in. I have seen pale sili before, but rarely have I seen this many white or cream silis in one harvest… They remain spicy, they are just this unusual color. A further inspection of the other things growing in the yard led me to a VERY happy bay leaf plant, that after nearly 3 years is now 5 feet in height. And my makrut or kaffir limes in pots are doing very well indeed. I can’t really take credit for these successes as I have a horrible black thumb… our part-time gardener must get all the kudos… I remain wickedly ill, and after avoiding the doctor or hospital for ten days, I have finally agreed to go in tomorrow to try and figure this bug out. I have never had to check-into a hospital (I dislike them and medicine) since I was born 43 years ago so I hope I can keep it that way, keep your fingers crossed as most hospitals have no WIFI in the rooms, I would imagine…

Meanwhile, you may want to check out some of these previous posts with siling labuyo to spice up your Monday…

Laing in Two Ways (Taro Leaves in Coconut Milk with Chillies)
Homemade Chilli Vinegar
Chilli Crabs a la Marketman (a signature dish of the Marketman household)
Kinilaw na Dilis (Anchovy Seviche)
Spicy Fried Garlic Peanuts
Spicy Eggplant a la Marketman (Excellent, easy and economical)
Mustasa Salad with Bagoong & Kalamansi Dressing
Kaang Daeng / Red Thai Curry
Kinilaw na Malasugi
Mussels with Black Beans a la Ming Tsai
Fresh Sambal / The Ultimate Crushed Chilli Dipping Sauce
Sili in your Favorite Sawsawan


20 Responses

  1. I see that color of sili a lot in the bottled spicy vinegar available here. I confess I’ve never wondered why they were that color, even though the plant I remember having in our backyard growing up always had the dark green progressing to red kind…That color does make a nice still life though…

    And I really do hope you get better soon MM!

  2. But what would you get if you planted their seeds? The absence of colour of these red-hots reminds me of an old British joke about a holticulturist who bred them with forget-me-nots and yielded a-painful-reminder.

  3. It’s been 10 days MM and you’re still sick, that’s too bad, but i’m really glad that you finally gave in and decided to check yourself in the hospital, Mrs.MM must be so proud of you! :) Hope you feel better!

  4. Hay naku, MM! Please do take care of yourself. Sabi na nga ba you overdid the diet thing. (Remember, diet is Die with a T! according to Garfield.) Holler if you need anything, medical-wise. :)
    Are the white chilis just as spicy as the red ones? Never seen them that way before. Frankly, I’ve never succeeded growing this in a pot (I’ve tried several times!), but I do have a lot of wild, scattered sili plants here and there in the garden. Most likely from seeding from bird poop, and like you I can not take credit.

  5. Like you I don’t really like going to doctors and try to medicate myself the natural home-remedied way. Good luck na lang! I guess it is also time to find out what you have… As to those albino silis, di ba there is that kind of ornamental silis plant with its many colored fruits—from reds to pale yellows? In my garden the sili plant grows like “weeds”. Free roaming chickens love the sili fruits! Thanks also for showing once more the bay leaf plant. I would like to grow one myself as well as the peppercorn plant. I just need to know how to identify it when I see it. I also have a lush and pretty! forget-me-not bush and it certainly is not a-painful-reminder (that was a good one, Apicio!) :-D

  6. I hope you get well soon Marketman. And I think you already need some professional advise, being sick for 10 days already.

    When I gave birth last July, my husband was able to “squat” on free WIFI connection from our room in Asian. I know they have free access in the common areas. We were just lucky to get some in the room :)

  7. the lack of color might be due to the lack of sunlight. I know that strawberries in Baguio take on a pale color when harvested during the rainy months… maybe it’s the same way with chilies

    get well soon

  8. Aw, how sweet and thoughtful to leave all those posts while you’re out. :x

    Thanks, MM. Let’s get well soon (caught a bug myself) and hope your doc figures this one out. The 10-day wait is too long, bad boy! :D

  9. Whatever bug you’ve got, I hope it goes away soon. Get well.

    I made the mistake of transplanting siling labuyo on the ground. I should have known better that it will not survive the extreme Texas weather, dry heat during the summer and freezing weather in the winter. One plant died during the summer, the other one had no chance during the beginning of winter. D’uh! At $39.99 a pot, they are not cheap. I bought another pot a few months ago, it’s thriving really well in the pot, in fact it’s need of a bigger pot. And in the pot it will stay!

    As for your albino labuyo, albinism in humans is caused by lack of pigment or due to a recessive gene. Yeah, that’s it, blame it on the genes. *laughs* Maybe in plants or your labuyo either needs more sunshine, or just like to show it’s blonde side, just like those ornamental sweet potatoes that have the light green leaves instead of the dark green to reddish leaves.

  10. MM, the suites at St. Luke’s come with a PC and internet connection. Fyi, for your next executive check-up :) Also of note, the in-house meals are pretty impressive. Im convinced a chef has been employed to consult on the food prep/menu selection on this floor…

  11. MM,

    I have seen these albino chilies before and the lack of color is not due to absence of minerals in the soil nor due to inadequate sunlight. They are just naturally white, just as there are the colorful ones: yellow, orange, red, voilet and even black. Albino chili should turn red when allowed to mature further.

    I believe your chili is the Angkor sunrise variety featured in this site:

    Hope you well soon.

  12. Do get well soon, MarketMan. How did the check-ups go?

    When you feel better, may I have some seeds, please? I’ll send a self-addressed stamped envelope, plus some other goodies from down south, if there’s anything you’d like.

    Durian candies, perhaps, the soft yema type?

  13. Chocomint, email me and I will send you a few seeds, I hope they germinate. joey, I bought a seedling at the FTI market, but I can send you a few seeds if you are wanting to try growing them from scratch. Thanks everyone for the get weel greetings. My doctor didn’t show up yesterday, he was out sick or something… so I go today.

  14. Marketman – prayers for your health. You helped me tide over some bleak and lonely months overseas, when I was badly craving for Filipino food! This is the least I could do. Be well. :-)

  15. MM, my siling labuyo (we call it katumbal in Ilonggo) look exactly like those in your pictures! Could it be the rain? Actually, had i not read this entry, i wouldn’t have wondered. I guess i’m more preoccupied with my basil plant. it used to be in a small pot, waiting for its death, no matter how i kept the soil moist. I decided to transfer it to the ground, south of the sun ? if that’s the right term. Now, its growing beautifully.

  16. maybe it’s because we’re doing things organically. nyahaha!

    in the bicol region, they get the most typhoons every year. so everything gets devastated even the sili tree. but still, the seeds are resilient and made bicol the chili capital. a no fuss plant. i followed this theory from the first spring of chilis in my young tree years ago. i let them be even in the toughest typhoons. and have since supplied the miniature chilis to relatives and even saved up “for the rainy days”.



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