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Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr

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Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr

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Photo Credit: CGAPS

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Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr

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QUICK FACTS

  • HPRWA SCORE 1
  • SYNONYMS Bixa tinctaria, Orellana orellana, Bixa orleana, Bixa americana, Bixa purpurea, Bixa odorata, Bixa acuminata, Orellana american, Bixa upatensis, Bixa katangensis
  • ELEVATION RANGE
  • FAMILY Bixaceae
  • PLANT TYPE Large shrub/small tree
  • WATER REQUIRMENTS Requires water until established
  • SOIL REQUIRMENTS Tolerates many soil types
  • SUN EXPOSURE Full sun to Partial sun
  • SALT TOLERANCE None
  • DRAINAGE REQUIRED Requires good drainage
  • PROPAGATION METHODS Seeds & Vegetative

Bixa orellana
(achiote, lipstick plant)

Achiote flowers produce fuzzy pods (they are usually red but there is also a yellow form). When dry, the pods split open to reveal red seeds. The red powder covering the seeds is a strong red dye. The pods are prized by dry flower arrangers and wreath makers. Seeds are used to flavor Spanish rice, make red flavoring, and to color lipstick, margarine, leather, and feathers. Medicinal uses include remedies for sunburn, dysentery, and malaria.

Plant Uses

  • Specimen
  • Container plant
  • Medicinal
  • Cultural significance
  • Edible

Dangers

None