The Chiltepin, also called chile tepin, is a wild chile pepper that grows in parts of Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico. It is sometimes called the "mother of all peppers," because it is thought to be the oldest form in the Capsicum annuum species.
The Wild Chile Botanical Area in the Coronado National Forest near Tucson, Arizona, has the largest population of chiltepin peppers north of Mexico. This pepper is also the state native pepper of Texas.
Tepin peppers, nicknamed “bird’s eye” peppers, rank high in heat level. Some chile enthusiasts argue that the Tepin is hotter than the habanero or Red Savina habañero pepper. This chile pepper is round or oval and about 3/8 inch in width. "Tepin” comes from the Nahuatl Mexican word meaning “flea” because of its smallness. In 1995, Texans named the Jalapeño pepper the official pepper of the state of Texas. But, just 2 years later, the Tepin took over as the official native pepper of Texas.
Tepins can be extremely hot, measuring between 100,000 and 250,000 Scoville Units. In Mexico, the heat of the Chiltepine is called arrebatado ("rapid” or “violent”), which implies that although the heat is intense, it diminishes rapidly.