Lipstick Tree (കുരങ്ങുമഞ്ഞൾ)

Scientific Name: Bixa orellana L.

Synonyms: Bixa acuminata Boj., Bixa americana Poir.

Unique ID: 30

Systematic Position

Class: Dicotyledonae

Sub Class: Polypetalae                          

Series: Thalamiflorae

Order: Malvales

Family: Bixaceae

Common Names

English – Lipstick tree, Annatto tree

Malayalam – Kurangumanjal

Tamil – Sappiravirai

Hindi – Latkan

Description: These are annuals which grow upto 25 cm in height. The base is woody. Stem is slender to robust, simple and at the apex is covered by dense thick hair. There are upto 13 leaves, the rachis is slender, moderately covered by dense thick hair, the leaflets are 6-14 pairs, the leaflet blades are obovate-oblong or oblong, 3–15 × 2–7 mm, base is almost symmetric, usually smooth and sometimes covered by trichomes. There are several flowers on the umbels, the peduncle is 2-7 cm and is subequal to the length of hte leaf. There are several bracts which are lanceolate and arranged densely at the apex of the peduncle, with the cluster measure ~3mm. The pedicel is 3mm in the fruit but ~1mm at the anthesis. Sepals are with glandular septate trichomes and 5-6mm in size. The petals are longer than sepals and yellow in color. The capsule is covered with hairs, 4–5 x 3–4mm in size, ellipsoid-obovoid in shape. Flowering and fruiting from July-December.


Habitat: Cultivated, tolerant of poor soils but intolerant of shades

Distribution:  Grown as an ornamental tree. Native to South America.

Uses: Used in Ayurveda, Folk medicine, Homoeopathy, Siddha; Seeds yield a red colored dye.