The Cayenne is a red, hot chili pepper used to flavor dishes, and for medicinal purposes. Named for the city of Cayenne in French Guiana, it is a cultivar of Capsicum annuum related to bell peppers, jalapeños, and others. The capsicum genus is in the nightshade family (Solanaceae).
The fruits are generally dried and ground, or pulped and baked into cakes, which are then ground and sifted to make the powder, Cayenne pepper. Cayenne is used in cooking spicy hot dishes, as a powder or in its whole form (such as in Szechuan cuisine) or in a thin, vinegar-based sauce. It is generally rated at 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville Units. It is also used as a herbal supplement, and was mentioned by Nicholas Culpeper in his Complete Herbal.