Hibiscus and Malabar spinach, as well as various herbs being my choice for ornamental gardening (all edible, please note), I find the most satisfaction in ornamental peppers. They are not only are fantastic looking, but edible and can be brought indoors to continuously flower and fruit throughout the winter!
Current varieties I have are:
Tricolore Garda (I grew by seed)
This beauty will grow upward pointing peppers that turn purple, cream, orange and finally red (so much for tri-colors...) Obviously they are still in their early stages, but I am so excited to see all the colors (....Duke! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwlMHJE82Mk),
Calico (bought from a nursery)
This is a green-white-lavender variegated leaf dark purple-black tiny pepper packs a punch. It's so unusual I had to have it!
I really want to grow Black Pearl (http://www.parkseed.com/gardening/PD/3953/)
(Thanks OSU for pic)
Black leaves and red/black pearl round peppers! I had ordered seed from Park seed, but after going out of town at one point, the peppers seedlings kicked it from the heat.
Ornamental peppers are edible, though considered to be extremely hot and somewhat pungent; vinegary is the best way to describe it.
My tricolore is just starting to fruit and I am excited by how the fruits seem to stand straight up. More on their heat when they get big enough. I will probably take a stab at trying them at their various color stages to see if it makes a difference in heat level.
When my husband and I tried the calico pepper fruits, when they were a deep purple black, it was a simple *chewchewchew,* "Man, these aren't that hot..." to "HOOO, okay, they've got some heat!" to "OHWHERE'STHEBATHROOM?"
Needless to say, you can't have a sensitive stomach for these lovelies.
For the longest time I was under the impression that you shouldn't grow peppers by seed and that the plants were the only way to go. I had heard that their heat got killed when you grew them by seed or they needed to be grafted or something odd like that, so I didn't bother. When I saw that the seed was advertised though, I figured they must retain that heat... the ad says so! So I am happy to find that it's working out just fine.
I (un)fortunately found that Park seed has a plethora of ornamental pepper seed and while I don't need so many... maybe I'll give the extras away to friends/family or sell some, who knows?
Park seed ornamental pepper links:
Sangria Hybrid: (MILD though)