Morouga Scorpion = 7 Pot Brain Strain?

Or is it 7 pot brain strain = morouga scorpion? Shortly after the announcement came out that the morouga scorpion had tested at over 2 million scoville heat units a rumbling started in the hot pepper community that the morouga scorpion wasn’t actually a scorpion at all. It was a 7 pot, and not just an y 7 pot, but the 7 pot that in recent years has been referred to as the 7 pot brain strain. Right now the discussion of this topic is taking place in a few different forums and does appear to be resolved. Here’s what I’ve been able to piece together.

In July 2008 and August 2008 cmpman1974 posted pictures of what he was calling Trinidad Scorpion Morouga Blend. He indicated he received the seeds in early 2007. As usual great pictures, to the right is one from the forum thread linked to in the previous sentence. Check out the thread for the other pictures. In another area of that same site there are pictures and mention of the word “morouga scorpion” as early as September 2007. The author seems to indicate that the morouga scorpion is “new” and it likely a scorpion 7 pot hybrid. Specifically he says (translated):

“In 2007 and even more in 2008, many fans have grown varieties now known as super-hot.
Because of cross-pollinations, scrolls or random, have appeared a whole series of hybrids and variants.
In some cases the results are significant because they have been retained some typical characteristics (such as the sharpness, the roughness dell’esocarpo, the coating on the inner walls of placenta), but variants have shapes and / or new colors very interesting.
They saw and 7Pod Yellow Scorpion, Scorpion and 7Pod hybrids, super-hot chocolate-colored etc..
Among all deserve a mention Morouga Blend (probably hybrid Scorpion/7Pod) and Trinidad Douglah (super-hot chocolate with an incredible amount of placenta) “

Those mentions and pictures are the earliest I could find for the morouga blend scorpion. Overall there’s quite a bit of evidence online that supports the timeline and look of the morouga scorpion. Seems Chris was the best known source for this pepper and pictures and posts validate that he probably did indeed receive the seeds in early 2007.

Where the takes a turn for the interesting is when you start talking about the 7 Pot Brain Strain. I wrote a post on the brain strain in 2011 that includes links and photos…worth checking out if I don’t say so myself:-) The earliest mention I could find of the word “brain” in association with this pepper was September 18, 2008. While I haven’t been able to piece it together exact it looks like Pepper Ridge Farm aka Brain Strain also acquired his seeds in 2007. At this point it’s safe to say that PRF and cmpman1974 did not get their seeds from the same person. Same country/region…probably but not the same person.

If that was the end of the story, based on all of the pictures I have found and the dates when various things were posted I would say cmpman1974 and PRF received seeds from the same pepper from different people that were called different things. Happens all the time in pepper land. I would defer to the name Trinidad Scorpion Morouga Blend too since by all written and photo accounts it was the first name with an official name. Of course though that’s not where it ends though or there would be no point in this post! There’s speculation that as the post title suggests, the Morouga Blend is actually not a scorpion at all, it’s the 7 pot brain strain. Here are a few of the theories I have read…none of which at the time I am writing this have been proven one way or the other.

1. Jim Duffy received seeds for the 7 pot brain strain and grew those as well as the morouga blend scorpion seeds he indirectly received from cmpman1974. When it came time to send in seeds/samples for the test he sent in Brain Strain seeds, not Morouga Scorpion seeds.

2. The Morouga seeds cmpman1974 originally received were mislabeled and were indeed 7 pots, not scorpions. While no one’s flat out said this I’ve read posts by a number of people that indicate every morouga scorpion they have ever grown or seen has been smooth not bumpy like the morouga’s in cmpman1974’s pictures.

3. The 7 pot Brain Strain is not a 7 pot at all, it’s the morouga blend scorpion and was mislabeled when the original seeds were received.

4. Unbeknownst to PRF and/or cmpman1974 one or both sets of original seeds were crosses. What they ended up growing and subsequently spreading around was not what they thought it was.

What do I think…I’m not sure and by no means any kind of expert. If I had to put a theory out there I would say that the brain strain and morouga scorpion are not the same pepper. My guess is that the morouga scorpion is a 7 pot / scorpion hybrid and if you have the real deal it should look similar to all the pictures that cmpman1974 has posted. The Brain Strain is probably a 7 pot that shows traits that were picked up by the morouga scorpion when it was originally crossed with a 7 pot. The two peppers probably share some similar genetics and traits but if tested would be found to be distinctly different. Keep in mind a theory is just a fancy word for guess:-)

I’ll try and keep up with the conversations and will post updates or corrections as more facts come out.

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15 Responses to Morouga Scorpion = 7 Pot Brain Strain?

  1. pepperseed says:

    Some additional conversation on the subject is taking place here:
    http://www.thehotpepper.com/topic/24994-brain-strain-vs-ts-morouga/

  2. Svenn says:

    Do anyone have any tips about growing condition for the morouga?

  3. Pepper Joe says:

    The Brain Strain is HOT HOT HOT and many Chileheads believe it to be the Worlds Hottest. The ones that I’ve grown do have some differences in looks, taste and plant growth from the Moruga. That’s part of the fun of gardening…the testing, new varieties and sometimes surprises. Great Gardening, Pepper Joe

  4. It was quite interesting to learn about the Brain Strain, I was just researching the Trinidad Scorpion Pepper since there seem to be less hot varieties and some stinging hot as well.

  5. Granchasboy says:

    Well it has been a difficult summer for the scorpions. My other chillies grew fairly well, but the scorpion (two plants purchased on line) struggled with the poor light and cold weather despite being on heated propagator bases plus greenhouse heated at night.
    At long last I have about a dozen full-sized fruits, but I think it unlikely that they will ripen. Still, there is always next year!
    However, even the green fruits have quite a kick and I am well please for my first attempt!

  6. Jake says:

    Pepper Joe, I am growing Bhut Jolokia, Moruga Scorpion, and Carolina Reaper, does topping a pepper plant really produce that much more yield, and is it too late for me to top my peppers? I live in Southern Ohio and I started my peppers indoors from seed in February but I did not get the plants potted up until last week and the week before, most of them are just beginning to fork and some aren’t much bigger than a plug size. I am sure it will be too late to top the plug size peppers by the time they fork but what about the ones that have already forked and are starting to spit out flower buds? This question is intended for Pepper Joe however anyone’s advice and opinions are gracefully received! Thanks!

  7. BrainMania says:

    Hi Jake,

    The last comment before yours was in 2012! Looks like this thread is dead. I’m growing bhuts, reapers, brains, nagas, ghost scorpions, ghost-neyde cross and many others. I can tell you for a fact that not only does topping your plants give greater yields, but it is essential to creating a thick bushy plant. When to top can be a bit tricky. I had a bad thrip problem when all my plants were under a foot tall. The little buggers kept eating at the tops of my plants so all new top growth was consumed and I thought this would be the end…. But guess what? The tops being chewed on caused tremendous growth from all the smaller lower branches and produced a very bushy plant with more than 20 seperate outgrowths per plant. So this was like having 20 plants in one and each of those 20 stems growing out is producing tons of peppers.

    I don’t advise cultivating thrips on your peppers but you can do the same thing the thrips do which is cutting the top parts of your plants off or even just pinching them with your fingers.

    Enjoy!!

    • pepperseed says:

      Topping can produce larger yields…sometimes. IMO you’re better off just growing a healthy plant w/o topping. Certain plants that are legal in some states can benefit from topping…peppers are not one of them.

  8. BrainMania says:

    Regarding the timing of topping your peppers….. It’s really never too late! Pepper plants are extreamly hardy and will come back even if you cut half of the plant down. Try to top low enough to give the lower branches time to sprout up and produce nice even growth among all the competing branches. You can top multiple times and do further pruning to allow light to reach all the branches. Hit them with some high N ferts about two days before you top them and then every week after that and you will be amazed how fast they come back!

  9. D says:

    can you grow another plant from what you cut off to make main plant more busy?

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