Characteristics of Lipstick Tree (Bixa orellana) in the Wild

Bixa orellana
Lipstick tree or Achiote tree is a species of a shrub native to northern South America and Mexico. Today the tree grows in many countries around the world.

Lipstick tree is known as a source of Achiote (red food coloring) obtained from the arils wax. The fruit seeds are also widely used in traditional dishes in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

Anato from the extract of Lipstick tree seeds has now been used as a large-scale/industrial food coloring to add yellow or orange colors to products such as butter, cheese, margarine, ice cream, meat, and kitchen spices.

Natives of North, Central, and South America often use Lipstick tree seeds to make red body paint.

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF LIPSTICK TREE LEAF

Bixa orellana Leaf
Source : flickr.com/Ben Caledonia

The leaves have long stems, semicircular at the base of the leaves, and pointed at the ends. Each leaf has a length of 10-15 cm and a width of 7-9 cm.

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF LIPSTICK TREE FLOWER

Bixa orellana Flower
Source : flickr.com/ZĂ©lia Doneux Rebske

The flowers grow in groups at the tips of branches, white or pink, measuring about 5 cm that resembles wild roses.

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF LIPSTICK TREE FRUIT

Bixa orellana Fruit
Source : flickr.com/Ben Caledonia

The fruit is like rambutan, round or oval, arranged in groups that resemble pods, and have soft spines. Each fruit contains 30-45 cone-shaped seeds coated with red aryl.

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF LIPSTICK TREE

Bixa orellana Tree
Source : wikimedia.org/Signey

Lipstick trees can grow to form everlasting shrubs or small trees that can reach heights of 6-10 meters.

The tree grows well in subtropical to tropical climates free from ice. He prefers moist, well-drained areas, fertile soil, and full sun.

Lipstick tree can be propagated by seedling and stem cuttings.

 

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