Hot pepper ( Capsicum annuum
) is increasingly an important economic crop in Uganda that requires attention for increased production. Genotypes with superior growth, quality and yield traits are crucial for use in pepper cultivar improvement efforts and use by farmers. To identify such genotypes, agronomic characteristics including growth, quality and yield traits of 26 exotic and 9 local genotypes were evaluated on-station during the growing seasons of 2009 (2009A and B) in Central Uganda. Significant differences were observed in all plant growth, and most yield and quality (P<0.001) traits. Except for number of seeds per fruit, highly significant genotype X season (P<0.001) interactions were observed in other traits. Pepper genotypes during season 2009B exhibited superior performance than in season 2009A in majority of the traits except for number of seeds per fruit, seed yield, 200 seed weight and percentage non-marketable fruits. Local genotypes performed better in season 2009A than in 2009B. The commercial local check genotype CA -UGCE 09-3 performed better than all the local genotypes and most exotic genotypes in fruit yield and early maturity. The East African Seed Company local genotype CA-EASC-09-1 was the earliest maturing variety among all genotypes. The Asian Vegetable Research and Development Centre (AVRDC) check genotype 12 (PP97-7195-1) performed the best among all the exotic genotypes in all traits except fruit size. Eight of the agronomic traits showed significant correlations between seasons indicating stability for these traits. Fruit length and width were the most stable quantitative traits. These findings reveal that traits of interest in C. annuum
that vary with the environment may be improved by using suitable cropping seasons and management practices.