So at the beginning of the season, I asked for help identifying the difference between Padron Peppers and regular Bell Peppers, like California Wonder, etc. People weighed in with their thoughts and suggestions, none of which, unfortunately, were able to help me in differentiating one plant from another.
The back story: I planted pepper seeds and waited for them to germinate. I had marked each six pack with the proper name of pepper. Nothing happened, so I tried again. Still nothing - actually, some came up and were eaten by the birds. By the time I planted more seeds in the six packs, I didn't pay attention to which I planted where, and had a complete and utter mix of the two kinds. Silly me, but that's the way I roll. So I planted them. I looked at the leaf shape and growth. Nope. I looked at the leaf color. Nope. But here is the big difference, with photos even!
The difference is in the branch brackets where the bell peppers have a darker green - almost black - coloration. Padrons, no matter how big they get (a few of mine are well past 4' tall) do not develop that darkened area around stem brackets.
Since I didn't know what I had when the seeds finally sprouted, I just planted them all and hoped they'd grow. I ended up with less Padrons and more bell peppers than I hoped for but at least I knew which was which well before they fruited!
Hope this helps the next disorganized gardener!